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A new report has found Australia’s migration program is more effectively meeting the needs of employers with a 60 per cent increase in the number of employer-sponsored skilled migrants to Australia in 2008-09 compared with the previous year.

The Report on Migration Program 2008-09 shows that the Rudd Government’s targeted approach to overseas workers is helping to fill critical skills gaps in the healthcare, engineering, financial services and IT sectors.

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, said that changes introduced in January including the Critical Skills List (CSL) of high value occupations and prioritising employer-sponsored or state/territory-sponsored skilled migration visa grants were having a significant impact.

Overseas workers who were sponsored by employers comprised 33 per cent of the 2008-09 skill stream compared to 22 per cent in 2007-08 and 17 per cent in 2006-07.
“A properly targeted migration program will ensure we have the right sized and appropriately skilled labour force to meet Australia’s needs now and into the future as our economy recovers and grows.”

The Government cut the 2008-09 permanent skilled migration intake in March 2009 by 14 per cent from 133 500 to 115 000 and reduced planning levels for the permanent skilled migrant intake in the overall 2009-10 migration program to 108 100 places.

“This is in direct response to the economic slowdown and represents an overall drop of almost 20 per cent on previous planning levels,” Senator Evans said.

“The migration intake in the coming year reflects the economic conditions while ensuring employers can gain access to skilled professionals in industries still experiencing skills shortages such as healthcare and engineering. “The reduction is being achieved through a cutback in places in independent skilled migration rather than in the high-demand employer-sponsored category or in areas in which Australia has critical skills shortages.”

Across all permanent skilled visa categories, the top three occupations for successful applicants were accountancy (6238), computing professionals (3879) and registered nurses (3355) while the top three countries of citizenship under the skill stream were the United Kingdom (23 178), India (20 105) and China (13 927).

“Australia’s migration program is better targeting the needs of Australian employers who are still experiencing skill shortages,” Senator Evans said.

Source  :  www.manmonthly.com.au

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Over 2000 homes across the metropolitan area are without power today as Western Power crews continue to repair powerlines damaged by the recent storms.

In Leederville 131 homes are without power, in Shoalwater 133 homes have been affected, 193 homes in Tuart Hill are without power and 149 Rockingham homes are blacked out.

A spokeswoman said most of the 2173 homes would have power restored this afternoon.  

150 homes where power outages have been affected by damage to a single electricity line, were expected to remain without power tonight.

More than 50 homes in the Perth Hills suburb of Parkerville have now been without electricity for almost two days.

The forecast shows showers will ease this afternoon with possible early showers Sunday morning followed by fine weather conditions.

Rising tides have battered two Perth landmarks – the Cottesloe Pylon and blue Crawley boat house on the Swan River – as wild weather hit the city.

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Hardly  a drop of rain has fallen on Perth as the city feels the second hottest start to the year on record.  rain9-753879

Perth has broke the record for the sunniest May on record today since 1876. 

Forecast shows that showers are coming to Perth about 3am tomorrow and continue until late Thursday.

Temperatures are going as low as 18 C forecast for Friday and chilly 17 C on Saturday.

Just 20mm of rain has fallen in Perth since January 1, less than half the first-quarter average of 42mm compared to last April 

The bureau expects below-average rainfall in the South-West to continue until June.

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