Central West to welcome skilled migration seminars

Date: Jul 16, 2012

Individuals and businesses who are struggling to get to grips with the skilled migration changes that came into force on July 1 are being invited to attend special seminars in the Central West.

Held by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), the seminars will be taking place in Longreach, Winton, Barcaldine, Blackall and Tambo from July 16 to 19.

Of course, any information that attendees gain from the meetings can be followed up with a trip to a lawyer in immigration.

Among the areas of discussion will be the launch of SkillSelect - an online system that takes an Expression of Interest approach to skilled migration.

This is designed to streamline the application process for both businesses and individuals, while ensuring that sectors with significant job shortages can fill the necessary gaps.

Meanwhile, those already on temporary skilled 457 visas, or who already work in Australia, can also expect to reap the benefits of this new system.

A spokesperson from the DIAC said: "Intending migrants will be found and nominated for skilled visas by Australian employers or state and territory governments, or they could be invited by the Australian government to lodge a visa application."

This will enable greater flexibility to meet the needs of the economy, although sponsors are required to demonstrate that they have a genuine need for the workers and skills and that they cannot otherwise be found in their region.

Officers attending the seminars will be able to provide a range of information and are available for a limited number of individual appointments.

The Longreach meeting is to be held in the Fairmount Room at the Longreach Civic and Cultural Centre on July 16, followed by an appearance on July 17 at Winton Shire Council.

Barcaldine Town Hall is hosting the next seminar on July 18, while those interested in attending the Blackall and Tambo meetings are urged to get in touch with the DIAC's outreach team directly.

Tourism and energy minister Martin Ferguson recently told a Queensland Tourism Industry Council breakfast that the tourism sector could benefit from the work of skilled migrants.

He explained that enterprise migration agreements have proved a success in the mining industry and could become commonplace among other sectors as more skills gaps emerge.

Broome has already benefited from a similar scheme, as 12 workers have been attracted from East Timor.