AFR| MATHEW DUNCKLEY | 11 MAY 2011 12:03:29 | UPDATED: 11 MAY 2011 12:46:27
A new online matching system will allow employers to cherry-pick a new government database of skilled migrants wanting to move to Australia.
Under the system, migrants will first submit an online expression of interest and from there the federal and state governments as well as employers will be able to invite them to make an application for a visa.
Presently, it is companies that must find applicants overseas to sponsor to Australia and applicants have no official way of flagging an interest in moving to Australia aside from the formal visa application process.
This means applicants may have to apply for an independent visa with the hope of finding work after they arrive in the country even though a company may have sponsored their move.
“It is critical that Australia’s skilled migration program is driven by Australia’s skills needs rather than the desires of prospective migrants,” Immigration and Citizenship Minister Chris Bowen said.
“Under this model, the government will be able to select migrants like a business manages its workforce – selecting the best candidates, altering the skill composition of its workforce and speeding up or slowing down recruitment as circumstances change.”
Mr Bowen said he wanted to consult with industry and migration experts on the design and detail of the scheme.
It is understood that the new system will seek to improve upon the existing but cumbersome Skill Matching Database, which allows companies to examine visa applications.
The online service is due to be up and running by June next year at a total cost of $5.9 million over four years.
The Australian Financial Review