Western Australia Could Adopt State Based Migration Scheme

Western Australia job advertisements surged 6% in December which is the strongest monthly growth since May 2007.

Experts say that the renewal of the mining boom could force business to compete ferociously for workers. This isn’t good news for businesses in WA but it could be great news for folks looking to migrate to the state.

Just one day after Western Australia was declared the nations best-performing economy, treasurer Troy Buswell called for a state-based migration scheme as WA businesses were warned to brace themselves for skilled labour shortages.

Mr Buswell conceded that sucessive WA Governments had failed to budge Commonwealth migration policy from a one size fits all model.

“That is one fundamental structural inhibitor that will stop us spreading the economic growth potential all around the state” he said, continuing “I’ve spoken with industry groups about the need to establish a State migration strategy and that is something we need to action in the very near future”.

This could be some very Interesting times ahead. Working for one of the larger mining companies here in WA I recognise the importance that the positive financial impact of some of these larger mining projets will have on the Australian economy (and we’re talking billions of dollars here)!

The Rudd government is very keen to start seeing some of the revenue that they need to so desperatly following the recent bugetary impacts of the Global Financial Crisis.

If WA is going to help contribute to this ‘proverbial pot’ it will need tens of thousands of extra workers to do it.

The good thing for wannabe migrants is that the timescales for many of these larger projects is NOW with many continuing for a minimum of 4 to 10 years!

Let’s hope the outcome of the discussions with the industry groups is a positive one for those looking to migrate down under. If the pressure is there and numbers add up then there could be a potential change on the cards.

Update : January 13th:

I’m not alone in thinking this either.

According to the professor of economic policy at Perth’s Curtin University Peter Kenyon, the State has not had time since the end of the last boom in 2008 to build up its skilled labour numbers.

He said that when the mining sector once again starts to lure people in with large salaries it will be felt across other industries.

“Once you get higher wages, that draws people into the mining sector and away from elsewhere,”

he said.

“That means we will end up with is real skill shortages in Perth, and even in the rest of Australia.”

While there is no definite solution, Kenyon said that long term thinking is the best option but the short term will most likely be handled as it has in the past.

“Importing labour is the traditional Australian answer,” he said.

“The usual way of dealing with it is by increasing immigration and that is what will happen again.”


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