The State government of
Western Australia, a key mining region, is sending a delegation to the UK and
Ireland to hire skilled workers.
Peter Collier, the state's training and workforce
development minister, on Wednesday announced the
overseas trip as part of a plan to get workers for WA, which is facing a
150,000-worker shortfall by 2017.
The Minister launched a new website, the
Skilled Migration Portal, which is a comprehensive guide about attracting
overseas workers to supplement employers’ local labour force.
It includes information
about occupations in demand and visa classes which employers can access, as
well as tips about assisting migrant workers settle into a new life in
Western Australia. It also provides information about living and working in
WA for potential migrants.
http://www.migration.wa.gov.au/ the portal is the latest in a series of
endeavours the State government has launched as part of a strategic and
broad approach to help address future skills demands.
Collier said the portal
had been developed as a single web-based point of entry for accurate and
current information on skilled migration.
“It includes access to
information on living and working in WA, migration pathways and visas,
opportunities for State Sponsorship, the WA Skilled Migration Occupation
List and links to other useful sites, such as the Federal Department of
Immigration and Citizenship, Tourism WA, and the Small Business Development
Corporation,” he said.
“It is targeted at
people who are thinking about emigrating from their country of residence,
and employers who are considering using skilled migration as a workforce
development strategy to meet their skill needs.
“Its development followed
extensive research which involved several workshops held with various
stakeholder groups, including recently arrived migrants.”
The launch comes just
days before the Minister leads a delegation of industry and government
representatives to the UK and Ireland to champion WA’s position as a leading
destination for skilled migrants.
“WA is facing a
potential shortfall of up to 150,000 additional skilled workers by 2017,
demand that is driven by strong growth in the State’s resources industry,”
“This will in turn
place pressure on many of the State’s other sectors, presenting significant
challenges for government, industry and the community as the demand for
skilled labour increases.
“While the Government’s
top priority is to ensure that jobs are filled from within WA, this alone
will not be enough and targeted migration will be essential to boost our
skilled labour needs.
“Our goal is to explore
all options for not just increasing the participation of our local
population, but also adding to the labour pool by attracting skilled workers
from overseas and other parts of Australia.”
The delegation includes
representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, WA Chamber of
Minerals and Energy, the Australian Hotels Association, Motor Trades
Association, and Civil Contractors Federation, as well as other industry and
government groups. They will meet with a range of key organisations over 10
“We will be making
presentations at a range of migration-related events in Leeds, Aberdeen,
Dublin and London to promote WA’s attributes to potential skilled migrants,”
“I will also be
meeting with representatives from the UK and Irish governments, as well as
key industry and training organisations to better understand their training
and workforce development systems.”
initiatives, Collier said the State government has made major inroads
towards addressing future skills demands.
This includes releasing
the Skilled Migration Strategy, launching Skilling WA and hosting a series
of skilled migration forums in Perth and regional areas. In addition, the
Minister is seeking support from the Federal Government to make changes to
the migration system to better meet the needs of WA employers.
Adam Walker, director of Conduit Recruitment, a
construction jobs agency in Sydney, told The Wall Street Journal that his office
receives 20 to 30 applications a week from the U.K. and Ireland.
“They obviously think it’s better over here and pretty bad over there. There’s
not much happening with construction in those markets and there’s a boom going
on over here,” he said.