Australia remains a favourite with migrant workers

Date: Apr 19, 2012

The global recession has not had an impact on people's desire to use the services of a migration lawyer and relocate to countries where there are plenty of opportunities, a new report has found.

Global Professionals on the Move 2012, a new study from recruitment firm the Hydrogen Group, explained that many experts had anticipated that people's desire to relocate would wane.

In 2010, 61 per cent of people said the economic climate had not impacted their decision to migrate, which fell only slightly to 55 per cent this year.

Australia has remained in the top three most popular places for people to live and work, falling only two percentage points on last year's figure.

Nine per cent of respondents said they would relocate to Australia, putting the country on par with the UK in terms of popularity.

The Hydrogen Group identified some of the issues preventing people relocating to their desired country - 12 per cent referred to visa and work permit issues, which were prevalent in the US and Australia.

There are many reasons why migrants are attracted to Australia, the report determined, including its second place ranking on the Human Development Index and high standard of living.

It is especially popular for workers in the oil and gas, or mining and engineering sectors due to the abundance of projects that are currently underway.

Ivan Jackson, managing director for Australia at Hydrogen, noted that 404 natural resources projects are taking place in Australia at the moment.

"Together they are worth over $450 billion, a sum that dwarfs the investment commitment of most Western economies, and a lack of relevant skilled professionals is one of the main barriers to bringing these projects to fruition," he commented.

Some trends were also identified in the demographics that tend to relocate to Australia - the country typically attracts English speakers and is also popular among Singaporeans.

Hydrogen explained that a proposed piece of legislation that may come into force on July 1 could make it more difficult to relocate to Australia, potentially bringing more work to lawyers in immigration.

The plan is to almost abolish tax-free living away from home allowances after concerns were raised over a possible abuse of the system.

This could prove problematic, as the latest Bankwest Skills Shortage Survey found that businesses throughout Australia are finding it hard to recruit the right people for the available positions.

Many managers reported that it now takes longer to recruit staff than it did 12 months ago.