Population growth in WA highlights need for experienced workers

Date: Jan 12, 2012

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has helped highlight the popularity of Western Australia as a destination for migrant workers.

The latest population figures show that the nation has enjoyed an increase of 320,800 residents over the 12 months before June 30 2011 - bringing the total above 22.6 million.

Of these, 170,300 were due to net overseas migration (NOM) - approximately 53 per cent of the population growth recorded.

These international citizens were shown by the ABS to have spread out across the country according to some familiar patterns - with one noted exception.

While all states experienced positive growth over the last financial year, it was Western Australia that truly stood out from the rest.

In terms of numbers, the top three remained Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland - receiving 84,200 82,200 and 74,800 new residents respectively.

However, WA experienced a change in population of 55,800 that was 2.4 per cent above its previous value - well outside the national average of 1.4 per cent.

The migrants included in this influx were mainly from three sources - the United Kingdom, India and China - combining to account for 38 per cent of the recent arrivals.

This spread of origins is not unexpected - the ABS notes that Australia's "geographic proximity" to many Asian countries makes it an obvious destination of choice, while greater Europe "has traditionally been a major source of migrants".

With the increased opportunities available in Western Australia from the growing number of resource and mining projects in the state, it is understandable that the local population would have increased to reflect the newly settled residents seeking work.

In particular, the new demand for skilled and semi-skilled labour has already been noted to have put a strain on the local supply of talent - with some companies seeking to hire additional staff members from interstate.

When these arrangements are not available - or prove to be impractical - organisations are able to make use of certain via subclasses to sponsor skilled international employees to live and work in Australia.

The growing need for experienced employees in the state could serve as a motivator for savvy managers to consider engaging with an immigration lawyer to explore their employment options.

A migration lawyer can offer a range of services - providing advice on the type of visas appropriate for an organisation and reviewing sponsorship documentation before it is submitted to the immigration department.