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Review of migration categories to assist employers

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M e d i a R e l e a s e

The Hon. Philip Ruddock MP Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Telephone: (06) 277 7860 Facsimile: (06) 273 4144

MRS 36/96 "


A review of migration arrangements designed to assist employers in Australia has been announced by the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock.

"The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and Labour Agreements will be examined to ensure that they are working more effectively and meeting the needs of Australian employers in today's dynamic international labour market," Mr Ruddock said.

ENS enables Australian employers to recruit overseas skilled workers if they have been unable to fill specific positions locally. Labour Agreements between government and employers allow overseas recruitment of a specified number of skilled workers to a defined set of vacancies.

The Committee of Review will comprise: • Dr Ian Lin, (Chairman) who has over 25 years' senior management experience and is National President of the Hong Kong-Australia Business Association; • Roger Shipton OAM, who is the principal of a business consulting group and a

former MP; • Alan Matheson AM, International Officer of the ACTU It will also include a senior official from the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and the Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs.

"The challenge is to respond realistically to the needs of Australian employers while safeguarding employment opportunities for Australian workers or enhancing their opportunities through skills transfer," Mr Ruddock said.

'The recent Roach review of temporary business entry clearly established that business wants certainty, flexibility and speed in migration processing. The permanent residence programme must also meet those needs."

Combining the skills available in Australian industry, with the expertise, experience and global networks of migrants will produce a competitive Australian workforce which can take advantage of opportunities for economic growth, exports and job creation.

"However, I am disappointed that Australian employers are not taking full advantage of opportunities provided by the schemes. The Committee will examine this and how the schemes can better meet Australia's economic needs," Mr Ruddock said.

"I have asked the Committee to consult widely with the diverse range of employer groups and other interested parties and report back to me by early 1997. This will allow changes to be implemented in the 1997/98 Migration Program," Mr Ruddock said.

CANBERRA 17 July 1996

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Ingram 0419 278 715 06 277 7860

DEPARTMENTAL CONTACT: Jim O'Callaghan (06) 264 2640