UNCERTAINTY over future funding for a successful skilled migration program in south-west Victoria has triggered calls by a Warrnambool City councillor for urgent government action.
Nanjing Night Net

Cr John Harris said he had grave concerns for the future of the Great South Coast regional program which has placed 116 people in work since 2008 bringing an estimated $60 million economic benefit.

A further 25 placements are expected before June 30.

Nurses, doctors, chefs dairy farm managers, diesel mechanics, engineers and abattoir slaughter trades are listed as jobs for which employers are unable to find suitably-skilled workers within Australia.

Cr Harris said Australia needed to have a positive attitude towards immigration and capitalise on opportunities with sound policy.

The city council has participated in state-funded programs providing support to employers and skilled migration candidates to address skills shortages.

It receives about $60,000 from the state government with the balance coming from Warrnambool City Council.

Funding will expire in June.

Cr Harris said national data showed 200,000 new workers would be needed across Australia this financial year for skilled jobs and an extra 4.4 million by 2025.

Predicted jobs growth was higher than predicted population growth and with baby boomers leaving the workforce there would be increasing skilled job shortages, he said.

He quoted figures showing 41.8 per cent of the current Australian workforce would leave employment in the next 10 to 20 years.

“This will take heaps of experience out of the workforce,” he said. “Demand on trained workers will be higher.”

Employment Minister Richard Dalla-Riva’s office told The Standard last month the program would be considered as part of the normal budget process.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.