Australia and New Zealand need skilled migrant workers

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Australia and New Zealand need skilled migrant workers

Britain has always been a strong source of skilled migrants for companies 'Down Under', but today the need for overseas workers is reaching a peak, reports the UK's largest international removals and shipping company, Anglo Pacific.

With the lifestyle benefits and high standards of living of Australia and New Zealand also very popular with Brits, it's perhaps not surprising that over 60 per cent of the company's business relates to moving people to these two nations.

With improved employment opportunities, maybe it's your chance to seize the moment?

"Requirements for skill shortages are becoming widespread across Australia and New Zealand. Both nations are moving into more positive economic climates, both are experiencing construction booms, and both are struggling to fill key skilled positions with home-grown talent alone," says Jason Diggs, Sales Director for Anglo Pacific.

Australia: ageing workforce needs fresh blood

In December, a top Australian business lobby group urged the federal government to immediately up its migrant intake from 190,000 for 2013/14 to 220,000 for 2014/15 to cover growing skill shortages.

Chief Executive for The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) Innes Willox, said, "While upskilling our current workforce remains a priority, a larger skilled migration programme will be necessary to manage the current situation and to assist in smoothing the path to future growth."

Innes defended the need for more trained migrants citing Australia's low rates of unemployment and natural population growth, the effects of an ageing workforce (17 per cent of Australian employees are over 55) and obvious skill shortages in mining, engineering, infrastructure and health.

With the property market also experiencing a significant upturn (the downside being buoyant house prices for immigrants), further shortages will emerge in residential and commercial construction as 2014 progresses.

The same fate awaits the engineering sector as a lack of major projects in the last 12 months has seen senior specialists either retire or seek work overseas.

As Australia moves into a more positive climate in 2014, engineering skills gaps are appearing - particularly in oil and gas, rail projects, and mining.

The Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency agrees and predicts that Australia will need 2.8m workers with 'higher-skilled qualifications' by 2025.

To source these from native population, the number of Australians leaving education with higher skills would have to increase by 3 per cent every year until 2025. A tall order, unless it's supplemented by an enlarged skilled migrant programme.

"It's an exciting time to migrate to Australia. A new Government has been at the helm since September 2013 and is actively encouraging and supporting the migration of skilled individuals and families to the land Down Under," says Dani Malone of The Migration Institute of Australia.

New Zealand: construction boom offers opportunities

Two thousand kilometres east in New Zealand, a major property and construction boom is underway and thousands of Brits are expected to capitalise and fill the skills shortage gaps.

It's the biggest construction boom in 40 years with Auckland at the epicentre - the National Construction Pipeline expects a 150 per cent increase in housing demand in this city alone over the next five years.

As New Zealand's population increases, long term skills shortages are also evident in areas such as health and social services, engineering and education.

June Ranson, Vice Chairman of the New Zealand Association of Migration and Investment (NZAMI), says, "It is not only the 100,000 homes that need rebuilding in Christchurch but there's also an immediate need for 30,000 in Auckland as there hasn't been sufficient houses built there since 2008.

The demand is fuelled by population growth as a number of New Zealanders have moved back home following the financial crisis. Every skill associated with construction is on the shortages list."

"New Zealand is scheduled to have a sustained economic growth of 3 per cent plus over the next few years", continues June.

"Opportunities are offered from construction project managers to civil engineers, brick layers to carpenters and from stone masons to plasterers. Remember not all trades will qualify for residence; this depends on the qualifications and experience of the applicant. Interested parties should do their research and talk to approved Licensed Immigration Advisors or Immigration Lawyers."

Anglo Pacific offers a dedicated job search service with applicants invited to register free of charge and without obligation.

Find out what sort of homes are offered for sale in Australia here.


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