Employers seeking skilled migrants will no longer have to wait in a queue when the federal government fast-tracks visa applications.
The move has been welcomed by the Western NSW Business Chamber and Orange Business Chamber as the population booms in the Central West’s major cities.
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman said regional employers and skilled migrants will be given access to priority processing on visa applications.
“There are a number of regions outside Sydney, Melbourne and South-East Queensland which are calling out for skilled migrants,” Mr Coleman said.
The federal government will send officials from the Department of Home Affairs to regional communities facing critical skill shortages.
Western NSW Business Chamber regional manager Vicki Seccombe said businesses in the Central West are facing a challenge in securing qualified staff.
It will be better if the federal government also fast-tracks the visa applications of unskilled migrantsOrange Business Chamber president Ash Brown
“Our unemployment rate in the Central West is 5.8 per cent and in Orana and the Far West it is three per cent,” Ms Seccombe said.
“The upcoming investment and infrastructure spend across the region is going to put additional pressure on finding skilled and semi-skilled workers.”
Ms Seccombe said sectors such as hospitality (in particular, chefs), construction, health and education, and professional services like accountants and engineers are experiencing shortages.
“We really need to see more action in getting costs down for employers.That’s everything from the direct costs they [employers] have to pay in sponsoring a skilled migrant, to the ongoing costs of compliance,” she said.
Orange Business Chamber president Ash Brown called it fantastic news.
“It will be better if the federal government also fast-tracks the visa applications of unskilled migrants,” Mr Brown said.
“Regional Australia is growing at a great pace. Orange is growing faster in population than cities like Adelaide, Newcastle and Hobart.
“With growth like that, we need more people to fill positions in health and government departments. We also need labour in unskilled areas like the building sector and household service sector.”
DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE NEWS?
- Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below …