Australia regional board helps employers hire immigrants

08 March 2006

Australia's Remote Area Planning and Development Board has launched a project to create awareness and improve access to skilled migration options.

It has also established an online questionnaire for employers record and track vacancies. The information is also used to link potential employees with regional employers. One of the questions asks if the employer would be willing to hire a suitably-qualified immigrant.

Board manager David Arnold says both the public and private sectors are having extreme difficulty filling some positions.

"There's no doubt it's a global phenomenon, that people are becoming mobile and I see the skilled migrants as a real opportunity to fill some of those jobs," he said.

"For example, I spoke to the Mayor of one shire recently that has a mix of Asian, Nigerian and South African people filling skilled positions in their shire."

Mr Arnold says one business advertised for more than 18 months without success.

"I really have to be blunt about it when we see organisations opposing the import of skilled migrants under the premise that it's taking from Australians ... it's simply not true," he said.

"Those jobs are out there and shire councils or businesses simply can't find the skilled labour, so they're coming from a range of areas, from Asia, African countries and also European countries."