Australia seeks to attract skilled British migrants

12 April 2005

Australia's shortage of skilled workers is good news for workers from MG Rover's Longbridge plant who are facing redundancy. They will find their skills in high demand in Australia.

Under Australia's point style system of immigration, workers and trades people on Australia's skills shortage list are given additional points and priority processing through the Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA).

This includes workers with skills as automotive electricians, fitters, fabricators, machinists, tool makers, motor mechanics, panel beaters, sheet metal workers, vehicle painters, welders, electrical and mechanical engineers, air conditioning mechanics and plant engineers.

Australia has been welcoming British skilled migrants in record numbers over the last decade. In 2003-2004 Australia welcomed upwards of 18,000 UK nationals to its shores. The Government is currently reviewing its immigration numbers, and is said to be considering increasing immigration levels by an extra 20,000 places in 2005.

Australia is not a hard sell for potential British migrants. The country offers a great quality of life – with good weather and good value – and since Brits need not learn a foreign language to live there, the adjustment is simpler. Similarly, Canada also competes for highly skilled migrants using a point-based system.