Skilled migration – helping employers

The Australian Government is introducing a range of new measures to help employers, particularly in regional Australia, find skilled people they need when they cannot find them in the local labour market.

The measures, announced by the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Senator Amanda Vanstone, on 14 March 2004, include:

  • Out posting departmental officers to ten key industry bodies to provide a direct point of contact and expert support to their members.
  • Adding a range of additional trade, engineering and other occupations to the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL), which provides priority processing and additional points for the general skilled migration points test.
  • Allocating an extra 10 points for State/ Territory sponsorship under the Skilled Independent Regional (SIR) visa to address the demands for more skilled migrants by many States/Territories and regions.
  • Expanding the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa program to help farmers get the seasonal harvest labour they need. WHMs who do three months of seasonal harvest work in regional Australia will be able to apply for a second WHM visa.
  • Allowing WHMs and Occupational Trainee visa holders to apply for a SIR visa without having to leave Australia, just as overseas students can already.
  • Introducing a pilot program to allow overseas students to undertake traditional trade apprenticeships in regional Australia on a full fee paying basis, and on completion of these, to apply for migration under one of the regional migration visas.

These measures were developed following consultation with a wide range of employer and industry groups and are designed to address Australia’s short and long term labour force needs.

Further information is available at

DIMIA is making changes to its web site to make it easier for employers to access skilled migration information. See the new “information for employers” option on the department’s home page at

This includes information about the upgraded Skill Matching Database, which provides employers with occupational and educational details of over 6,500 potential skilled migrants.

For more information on how employers in your area can access skilled migration programs please contact your nearest Regional Outreach Officer. Their contact details are: