Australia: Demand for Skilled Workers Jumps Up

Demand for skilled labours has shot in past 12 months in Australia. Moreover, the demand has shot up in senior management as well especially disciplines like in engineering, sales and marketing, information technology and corporate services.

The Government vs. Skilled Workers:

Recently, the big debate in Australia over foreign workers has also settled in favour of big mining companies. This has resulted in nearly all major newspapers floating ads for foreign skilled workers. The new policy for Gilliard government allowed miners to bring in foreign workers to fill in the labour shortage in the booming mining sector through the use of enterprise migration agreements (EMA). The government has also decided annual intake of 190,000 skilled foreign workers to support the booming resources industry in the country.

The current quota in Australia is 185,000 under Australia Skilled Migration Program. The new quota will allow 60,000 foreigners for family reunion and 130,000 skilled workers to migrate to Australia.

As per the Rupert Merrick, Director of International Operations for Working In Ltd, the country will have an increased demand for 150,000 skilled workers in heavy industries like iron, coal, mining and natural gas in a span of next five years.

Morever, mining companies have also relayed their angered response to the government. According to the mining companies, foreign skilled labours are required to get projects completed in time and under specified budget. Iron and Coal companies in Australia are already facing cost pressure due to strengthening Australian Dollar.

Minerals Council of Australia also released a report warning about labour costs in mining are among the highest in the world and calls for temporary skilled migration to curb costs and meet timelines.

Wages for Skilled Workers:

Australia has also recently announced increase in minimum salary paid out by employers to skilled foreign workers on temporary employment. In addition to the standard minimum salary level increase from AUD $41,850 to AUD $43,440, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) workers will have their minimum salary raised from AUD $57,300 to $59,480 in urban areas of Australia.

Such a move has been initiated by the government in order to prevent exploitation of skilled workers in the country and ensure wages and conditions of Australian workers are not undercut.

Other Factors:

Few of the benefitting factors of migrating to Australia are that it has one of the lowest unemployment rate of 4.4%. Moreover, increased demand of skilled labour makes Australia a competitive employer offering better wages. Living standards and quality of living in Australia outperform those in the UK or Ireland. Australia Skilled Independent Visa does not require job sponsorship to work in Australia. Only basic requirements are English language, qualifications, work experience, skills and health.

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