Tuesday, 08 May 2012
The Australian Government today announced an increase to the 2012–13 migration program, providing additional places to help fill skills shortages
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen MP said the planned migration program in the 2012–13 Budget would provide support to the growth regions and sectors of Australia’s economy struggling to meet acute skills shortages.
The increase of 5000 places—from 185 000 to 190 000 in 2012–13 migration program includes a skill stream of 129 250 places, 60 185 family places and a special eligibility stream of 565 places.
Mr Bowen said regional visas would also continue to be given high processing priority to recognise the needs of regional employers and encourage regional migration.
Up to 16, 000 places have been reserved for the regional sponsored migration scheme (skilled) to ensure those areas have the support they need to fill skills gaps, grow local economies and strengthen communities.
‘Further recent reforms have made employer-sponsored programs more streamlined and responsive.’
Mr Bowen said the government also recognised the important social benefits of close family reunion, reflected in the increase in family places from 58 600 to 60 185.
‘Our skilled migration program is driven by Australia’s genuine skills needs ……..We believe we have the balance right.