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31 October 2008
An Australian recruitment firm will fund a new scholarship program for Australia's largest publicly funded provider of vocational education, Swan TAFE. In return, Interstaff Recruitment will be allowed to sponsor up to 100 temporary overseas workers in areas of skills shortage under the nation's 457 visa scheme.
The scholarships will help Australian apprentices and trainees gain work skills; Australian employers will also benefit as they will now be able to recruit badly needed skilled workers from abroad.
Interstaff Recruitment's will spend 2 percent of its total wage bill on training which meets one of the main requirements for the labor agreement with the government, according to Immigration Minister Chris Evans.
"The funding of the scholarship program is an innovative solution which will provide training opportunities for young Australians while meeting the immediate skills needs in industries where labor is still in demand, especially in Western Australia and Queensland," Evans said.
"This is a win-win agreement for young apprentices and industry," he added.
Australia depends heavily on skilled immigration to fill gaps in its labor market; This is despite the current global economic downturn. The 457 visa program and permanent skilled immigration schemes such as the General Skilled Migration program are very popular. Australia is one the most popular destination Countries for mobile workers.