Measures designed to link Australian employers with construction skills shortages with US workers have been announced by the Australian Ministry for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, in collaboration with the Ministry for Immigration and Citizenship and the US Ambassador to the country.
According to the joint statement, demand for skilled construction workers is “likely to peak over the next three to five years as a number of resource projects are due to commence”.
The new measures will allow US construction workers in certain occupations to be granted provisional Australian licenses to work immediately upon arriving in the country, having been assessed before entering Australia – a process that currently can only happen when they arrive.
Immigration minister Chris Evans says: “This is a great opportunity to address skill shortages in Australia by filling shortfalls in particular areas with qualified candidates from the United States, with applications expected to open from mid-April.”
Four Australian and US business groups – the Australian Industry Group, the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia, the Business Council of Australia and the US Chamber of Commerce – have signed a letter supporting the measure, citing the fact that 75% of construction firms recently surveyed in Australia expect to have major problems hiring skilled labour over the next six months.
- For more on the compliance and wider challenges of hiring overseas contractors, see the Contractor Services feature in the new issue of Recruiter, out next Friday, 13 April.