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2005-06 Migration (non-humanitarian) program.



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Senator Amanda Vanstone MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND MULTICULTURAL AND INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS

Media Centre

2005-06 Migration (Non-Humanitarian) Program

VPS 052/2005

The Skill Stream of the 2005-06 Migration Program will increase for the eighth successive year, providing up to 20,000 additional places to help meet Australia’s short and long-term labour force needs, the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Senator Amanda Vanstone announced today.

This will be within an overall Migration (non-Humanitarian) Program in the range of 130,000 to 140,000 and a Skill Stream of around 97,500.

‘The increase reflects the continued growth in the Skill Stream, which has risen from 34,600 in 1997-98,’ the Minister said.

‘It reflects the Government's strongly held view regarding the benefits of well managed immigration arrangements.’

‘The increase in 2005-06 will complement measures the Government is taking to expand training of Australians, particularly in the traditional trades, and will ensure that the working age portion of our population continues to grow.’

The increase will target employer sponsored migration, state/region sponsored migration, or migrants who have an occupation on an expanded and more responsive Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL).

‘A primary aim will be to increase the number of skilled migrants entering under the employer sponsored categories, as it is employers who are best placed to identify the skilled migrants we need,’ the Minister said.

‘To help industry better address migration-related skills and labour issues, the Government will fund the out-posting of ten DIMIA staff to key industry bodies to provide expert support to their members.’

DIMIA and industry will run joint seminars for employers to help them better understand how to use the employer sponsorship process and to understand their obligations within this.

DIMIA and industry will also run joint recruitment events to better match potential skilled migrants with employers who are finding it difficult to recruit skilled workers locally.

‘As we are competing globally for skilled workers, it is essential that Australian employers have a competitive edge in this area,’ the Minister said.

To help in this, increased use will be made of the Internet for the lodgement of skilled migration applications.

Other changes to make Australia’s skilled migration arrangements more competitive include:

● More trades and engineering related occupations will be added to the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL,) which provides

priority processing and additional points for the general skilled migration points test. The MODL will be reviewed every six months to reflect better emerging labour shortages and further improve targeting.

● An extra 10 points will be allocated for State/Region sponsorship under the Skilled Independent Regional (SIR) visa to address the

demands for more skilled migrants by many States and Regions. ● Working Holiday Makers and Occupational Trainee visa holders will be allowed to obtain a SIR visa without having to leave Australia,

just as overseas students can already. ● A pilot program will be introduced to allow overseas students to undertake traditional trade apprenticeships in regional Australia on a full

fee paying basis, and on completion of these, to apply for migration under one of the regional migration visas.

DIMIA will work with DEST, DEWR and state governments to develop a national web portal on Australia’s skills assessment and recognition processes.

Skilled migrants who enter under concessional arrangements if they are sponsored by family in a designated area of Australia will be required to live in that area of the relevant State for a minimum of two years before obtaining permanent residence.

Working Holiday Makers (WHMs) who do a minimum amount of seasonal harvest work in regional Australia will be allowed to apply for another Working Holiday Maker visa. This will encourage more WHMs to do seasonal harvest work and will also help make the Australian tourism industry more competitive in attracting these valuable tourists.

Senator Vanstone said the changes ensured the Migration Program would be responsive to Australia’s changing needs and labour market dynamics and would continue to lead the world in its design and its delivery.

In addition, a range of measures will be taken to address emerging integrity issues in the Family Stream.

More detail on these and other measures is contained in supplementary Fact Sheets. Visit the DIMIA’s website: www.immi.gov.au

14 April 2005

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URL: http://www.minister.immi.gov.au /media_releases/media05/v05052.htm Last update: 14 April 2005 at 15:56 AEST