Oz migration programme meeting country’s needs

Australia’s Immigration Minister believes the country’s permanent migration programme has delivered desired outcomes to meet the nation’s skills and economic needs and to facilitate family reunions.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, said yesterday that the permanent migration programme has helped to boost Australia’s economy.

“Australia is a migrant nation and our orderly and well managed migration programme delivers economic, social and cultural benefits to our society,” he said.

In the year to the end of June 2016, 190,000 places were available for permanent migration and just under that number were filled by newcomers.

The majority of new immigrants were in the Skilled stream (128,550) which equates to 68 per cent of the programme. Most of the skilled visas went to Employer Sponsored, State and Territory Government Sponsored and the Regional Skilled category to help fill critical skills needs.

Mr Dutton said professionals accounted for 65 per cent of the visas awarded to the primary applicants in the Skilled stream and that these professionals would help build Australia’s future.

“The addition of these skilled workers to Australia’s workforce complements rather than competes with domestic workers,” Minister Dutton stated. “Our first priority will always be jobs for Australians, but where genuine skills shortages exist we fill the gaps with these skilled migrants.”

He continued: “Our immigration programmes are flexible and responsive to the needs of our economy and labour market.”

The family migration programme prioritises reunion of partners and children and 60,912 visas were granted in 2015-16.

Meanwhile, Australia offered refuge to more than 17,000 people under the Refugee and Special Humanitarian programme in the 2015/16 migration year. This included the largest offshore humanitarian intake in 30 years.

Article published 23rd September 2016