Australia’s resources and construction sectors are booming to the point where labourers cannot keep up with its success. In an effort to fill the gaps, the nation is calling on skilled US workers to come take on the work – and they’re speeding up the process to grant them provisional Australian licenses.
Under a new agreement implemented by the Federal Government, 457 visa applicants will have an opportunity to complete a skills assessment prior to arriving in Australia in order to expedite their visa processing.
"There are economies and countries around the world which are facing very difficult and different circumstances to ours," Immigration minister Chris Bowen told ABC News."What's appropriate is that we work together with those countries to ensure that skilled workers who are looking for work have the capacity to fill some of those gaps we are facing in Australia.”
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, electricians and plumbers are two examples of licensed occupations the Australian Government is looking to hire. Demand for skilled construction workers is also expected to rise significantly over the next 3-5 years.
US Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich said the opportunity is a win-win for both countries. "It matches highly skilled American workers who are available with a temporary skills shortage here in Australia to make sure that the progress and growth and economic vitality continue," he told ABC News.
Applications for fast-tracked visas are expected to open later this month.