As reported by Work Permit, Australia’s government has announced plans to raise the number of spots available for the 2012–13 migration programme in order to fill skills gaps in Australia.
Chris Bowen, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, said the rise of 5000 spots—from 185,000 to 190,000 positions—is in response to significant skills shortfalls in certain sectors of Australia’s patchwork economy.
The country’s 2012–13 migration programme has 129,250 spots for skilled employees, 60,185 family spots, and a special eligibility flow of 565 positions.
It is vital that workers are able to live with their family members, something that is recognised by the rise in available spots, said Bowen. Partners and children are often great contributors to the nation’s productivity, he added.
Regional visas will continue to receive high priority in order to tackle regional skill shortages and support regional migration.
Around 16,000 spots have been reserved to guarantee that regional areas can fill skills shortages and develop local economies.
Bowen said that skilled workers are moving more and more to growth regions where there is labour demand. These people are complementing Australia’s domestic labour force, rather than competing with it, he said.