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Overseas Workers to fix skills shortage

Posted on December 11, 2010
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The Training and Workplace Development Minister Peter Collier says attracting overseas workers to WA is essential to help ease the state’s skills shortage.

The Minister unveiled the Skilling WA plan today which includes supplementing the WA workforce with skilled migrants.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry research predicts the state will need almost 500,000 extra workers over the next decade.

Mr Collier says he signed a memorandum of understanding with the Immigration Minister Chris Bowen this week about how to tackle skilled migration.

“The whole point of that is to ensure that we do have a much more targeted approach to skilled migration and we do ensure that we do open our doors to the international community that can work in areas of a special need in Western Australia,” he said.

Mr Collier says the State Government will tell its federal counterparts what skills are needed so they give priority to those applicants.

“The immigration into Western Australia will be identified based on those particular areas of skill need,” he said.

Mr Collier says WA will not be able to maintain its growth without an increase in overseas workers.

The Opposition’s Ljiljanna Ravlich says the government’s focus should be on training WA workers, rather than seeking overseas migrants.

“What we’ve got here is a government that has failed to invest in training and could be using a soft cost option, if you like, as a substitute for training Western Australians,” she said.

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