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Published on September 1st, 2009 | by john.weir

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UK drives migration growth in Australia

According to a new report on emigration to Australia, the UK remains the largest provider of skilled migrants to Australia.

The Report on Migration Program 2008-09 shows that the United Kingdom provided 23 178 skilled migrants ahead of India, (20 105) and China (13 927). Overall, there was a 60 per cent increase in the number of employer-sponsored skilled migrants to Australia in 2008-09 compared with the previous yea. Across all permanent skilled visa categories, the top three occupations for successful applicants were accountancy (6238), computing professionals (3879) and registered nurses (3355).

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, said that changes introduced in January including the Critical Skills List (CSL) of high value occupations and prioritising employer-sponsored or state/territory-sponsored skilled migration visa grants were having a significant impact.

‘Australia’s migration program is better targeting the needs of Australian employers who are still experiencing skill shortages,’ Senator Evans said.

‘A properly targeted migration program will ensure we have the right sized and appropriately skilled labour force to meet Australia’s needs now and into the future as our economy recovers and grows.’

The Government cut the 2008-09 permanent skilled migration intake in March 2009 by 14 per cent from 133 500 to 115 000 and reduced planning levels for the permanent skilled migrant intake in the overall 2009-10 migration program to 108 100 places.

‘This is in direct response to the economic slowdown and represents an overall drop of almost 20 per cent on previous planning levels,’ Senator Evans said.

‘The migration intake in the coming year reflects the economic conditions while ensuring employers can gain access to skilled professionals in industries still experiencing skills shortages such as healthcare and engineering.

‘The reduction is being achieved through a cutback in places in independent skilled migration rather than in the high-demand employer-sponsored category or in areas in which Australia has critical skills shortages.’

The total migration program outcome for 2008-09 was 171 318 places. The 2008-09 skill stream outcome of 114 777 places accounted for 67 per cent of the total migration program.

The 2008-09 family stream also made a significant contribution to Australia’s society, with a total outcome of 56 366 places or 33 per cent of the total migration program.

Of these, almost 75 per cent were the spouses, fiancés or interdependent partners of Australian citizens and permanent residents.’

The top three countries of citizenship under the family stream were China (7901), the United Kingdom (7360) and India (4936).

For more information on emigrating to Australia, why not visit Down Under Live! ; coming to Birmingham and London

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