The Federal Government will label Perth a country town as part of an extraordinary move to attract desperately needed workers to the city.
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen will announce that Perth will be reclassified alongside regional employment “hardship” areas such as Karratha and Port Hedland in the Pilbara.
The move will ease the way for businesses to bring in more skilled and semi-skilled foreign workers to fill occupations such as child care, aged care and construction jobs such as riggers and scaffolders. Adelaide is the other major capital city to enjoy the nominal regional employment status.
16,000 sponsored visa places
The program will result in Perth being included in the Government’s regional sponsored migration scheme, giving the city’s employers access to a potential national pool of 16,000 sponsored visa places for foreign workers.
Mr Bowen, who will announce the measure at a mining conference in Perth, said there were simply not enough workers to meet high levels of demand.
Workers coming to Perth under the program will be able to become permanent residents and businesses applying for the visa places will be given priority in the processing of their applications.
The scheme lowers the benchmark of English language requirement for eligible workers, while the demands on employers regarding salary thresholds are also lower than under other forms of skilled work visas.
Click here to read the story on scaffolding jobs in WA