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Published on July 21st, 2011 | by john.weir

11

Perth is looking for more migrants from the UK

The booming economy in Western Australia is putting considerable strain on Perth’s resources.

So much so in fact, that the federal government is stepping in to help.Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has said that the WA capital would be included in a list of regional employment hardship areas, alongside cities in the Pilbara and Kimberley, that would be given special privileges, including first access to the country’s 16,000 sponsored visa places for foreign workers already in Australia.

Under the Regional Sponsorship Migration Scheme, Perth businesses will for the first time be able to sponsor workers with lower skill sets, such as those in hospitality, scaffolding and child care, and those employees would be subject to lower entry levels.

“It has been simply an anomaly that places like Hobart, Darwin and Adelaide qualifiy for the Regional Sponsorship Migration Scheme but here in Perth, where arguably the labour demands are greatest, that scheme has not been available until today,” Mr Bowen told a mining conference in Perth.

The Western Australian givernment has long argued to be made a special case as the state’s drive to exploit its’ massive natural resources creates huge skill shortages.

WA is expected to be 36,000 employees short within just four years, potentially crippling the lucrative resources sector.It is feared that number will swell to 150,000 workers by 2017 unless drastic measures are taken.

The Western Australia government will be exhibiting at September’s Down Under Live events in Birmingham and London and will be recruiting workers for key skilled positions across the state.

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