The Illawarra Business Chamber (IBC) has welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement that it will seek to increase skilled migration to regional areas to assist in combating skill shortages.
 

The Illawarra Business Chamber (IBC) has welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement that it will seek to increase skilled migration to regional areas to assist in combating skill shortages.
 
The government has flagged a redistribution of Australia’s skilled migrant intake, revealing plans to place conditions on skilled migrant visas that would require settlement in regional areas.
 
IBC Executive Director Adam Zarth welcomed the news saying that skilled migration was essential to meeting skill shortages across regional NSW, including the Illawarra.
 
“Across the Illawarra there are acute skill shortages impacting key sectors of the economy, including; hospitality; aged care; and construction,” said Mr Zarth.
 
“According to the Australian Government’s Internet Vacancy Index, at August this year there were some 1,500 vacant jobs across the Illawarra and South Coast, up 8 percent on the previous 12 months.”
 
“The Chamber continues to hear from its members that they are experiencing workforce shortages and this presents an opportunity to grow the Illawarra economy by bringing available workers to where they are needed. The Illawarra still requires significant investment in infrastructure, which should go hand in hand with any move to resettle migrants successfully in our region.”
 
However, the proposed policy in no way offsets the priority to change the mindsets of more young Australians and address the stubbornly high youth unemployment rate. 
 
“Skilled migration can provide an immediate boost and address prevailing skill shortages.  We need to be doing more, however, to train our young people in the areas experiencing chronic skill shortages.” said Mr Zarth.
 
“The Chamber is proud to be supporting and delivering youth employment programs like Illawarra YES, funded by the NSW Government, and related initiatives that are actively supporting young people and local employers secure real jobs for 15-24 year olds across the Illawarra,” said Adam Zarth.
 
ENDS
 
Contact:  Adam Zarth  0404 146 829
 
(OVER PAGE: Job advertisements in the Illawarra and South Coast – graph)
See http://lmip.gov.au/default.aspx?LMIP/GainInsights/VacancyReport
 
 

Media Contact:

Adam Zarth Executive Director, Illawarra Business Chamber T: 02 4223 0302M: 0404 146 829