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Published on May 16th, 2011 | by john.weir

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Skilled workers key to Australia’s growth

According to Australian labour hire company Skilled Group chief executive Mick McMahon, over 500,000 new workers will be needed in Australia in the coming years – many of whom will be migrants from the UK.

Interviewed on ABC TV , Mr McMahon was asked if 16,000 skilled migrants were enough to fill the demand for the expected workload required to complete a variety of projects. ” In the long run the right answer is to train more Australians to do these jobs,” Mr McMahon said. “There’s no doubt, though, that this will help, particularly if they’re targeted at the high end, very scarce skills, which may be a bottleneck to a project, to a time line.

“So it may be a project engineer, it may be a geologist, it may be those sorts of skills we’re struggling to find, and particularly targeted at the remote locations, I think is also helpful.

“So whatever helps our clients helps us. In the end 16,000 jobs, when you need maybe 500,000 jobs over the next few years, it’s not the main game.”

Mr McMahon said it was relatively easy to find people to perform low-skilled work but there were specific jobs such as electricians, diesel fitters, mechanics and high-end welders in remote regions that were harder to fill. Despite the fall in job numbers last month, Skilled had not seen much of a decline in demand for labour.

“Probably in the last month or so, we’ve seen a little stronger figures down the east coast of Australia, which have been a little softer than we might have liked with the effect of the rain and the wet weather on parts of our business and, I think, the high dollar on some of our manufacturing clients,” Mr McMahon said.”But in general we’d say the demand for our services is continuing.”

To find out more about job opportunities across Australia, come to Down Under Live in London and Birmingham this September.

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2 Responses to Skilled workers key to Australia’s growth

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