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Skilled Workers On Demand For NBL Project

04 Dec 2010


Australia is experiencing skills shortage and the rollout of National Broadband Network demands more skilled immigrants in Australia especially engineers for the construction. In view of the skills shortage, the competition to get the best will lead to increase of 30 percent in salaries in WA mining sector.

According to Graham Bradley, president of BCA (Business Council of Australia), there is an acute shortage of skilled workforce in the mining sector and the NBN project will only result in higher requirement for skilled Australian visa holders in the communications sector of the nation. He asserted that the problem of skilled workforce requirement like engineers will worsen in Queensland and WA and is likely to disturb the growth prospects.

Bradley stated that the government must work towards relaxing the Australian visa norms for 457 Australian visas under which the Australian firms are allowed to sponsor foreign skilled migrants to immigrate to Australia for working here, Bradley stated.

Meanwhile, Chris Bowen, the Australian immigration minister maintained that there were various options under the Australian immigration norms for engineers to immigrate to Australia.

The minister added that the program of 457 Australian visas was solely demand-driven and there were no restrictions on the total number of engineers to be sponsored for immigrating to Australia. Hence, the employers in Australia had the liberty to hire foreign workers to fill various vacancies in case skilled domestic workforce was not available.

Employment Minister Chris Evans is also working on a program to train domestic workers to address skills shortages.

According to Australian news outlet ABC News , the Association of Mining and Exploration (AMEC) says that the Australian Government needs to change its skilled immigration policy or risk losing smaller projects related to the mining industry.

Changes that are due next summer will make it more difficult for many migrants to immigrate, particularly many trades’ people. Whether the Federal government gives in to the needs of businesses and state and territory government remains to be seen.


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