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29 October 2010
The top three skilled worker occupations who came under all the permanent skilled immigration visa programs in 2009-10 are Accountants, IT workers, and nurses.
According to the Report on Migration Program 2009-10, over 60 percent of skilled immigrants were applicants in categories targeted by the government as experiencing skills shortages, a 12 percent increase on the previous year.
Skilled immigrants made up 107,868 of the 168,623 people who were granted Australian residency, 64 percent of the total under the migration program.
Across all permanent skilled visa categories, accountants topped the list of occupations at 6,734. Computing professionals followed close behind at 5,370, followed by nurses at 3,960.
The top three countries of citizenship for all permanent skilled visa categories were the United Kingdom (18,487), India (18,042), and China (14,505).
Due to the economic slowdown a few year ago the government took steps to reduce the level of skilled immigration into Australia; However, the country still relies heavily on foreign-born labor to deal with shortages in its labor markets.
In fact, the proportion of overseas workers sponsored by Australian employers continued to rise, making up 38 percent of the 2009-10 skilled immigration intake.
"This outcome is consistent with the government's focus on high-demand, employer-sponsored professionals in areas where Australia has critical skill shortages," said Immigration Minister Chris Bowen.
"The program met the government's objective of sharpening the focus on skilled migration and targeting the needs of Australian industries and employers," Bowen added.