In light of the State’s unemployment rate, National Labor leader Bill Shorten will today back plans to remove Perth from a skilled migration program that brings overseas workers to WA.
Mr Shorten has pledged to support WA Labor Leader Mark McGowan and his strategy to exclude Perth from the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.
The Scheme was designed to help regional areas meet demand for occupations reflecting a shortage within the State. Currently, Perth is classified by the Immigration Department as ‘regional’ and is therefore included under the Scheme.
Removing Perth from the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme could mean anyone seeking to apply for a visa under the Scheme would need to consider working in a position outside of the Perth metropolitan area or seek alternative migration options.
Mr Shorten said he would like to see changes to temporary work programs to align with WA’s changing economy. “Perth’s inclusion in the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme reflected the huge demand for workers during the peak of the mining boom,” he said. “Those times have passed and it’s time it changed.”
The plan reflects the Government’s intention to tighten Australia’s skilled migration intake, including a proposed overhaul of the occupations eligible for Australia’s various skilled migration programs. Mr McGowan has already vowed to scrutinise the list of occupations eligible for skilled migration if elected premier on March 11, 2017.
It is unclear at this stage which skilled migration programs will be affected by the overhaul, however Premier Colin Barnett warns that careful consideration is needed to ensure regional areas are not deprived of needs for specialists such as doctors. Mr Barnett also said we need to consider the fact that people migrating to Australia under skilled migration programs often become valuable citizens.
Read our post on Mr Shorten’s plans to tighten skilled migration programs such as 457 visas, or to understand how changes to the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme may impact you, contact Interstaff’s migration agents at [email protected] or +61 8 9221 3388 (or National Free Call 1800 449 858).
Source: The West Australian