Training minister criticises Australian visa requirements - Global Visas

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Peter Collins, the Australian minister for training, claims that more should be done to allow Irish workers to come to Australia - Global Visas.

Tthe Federal Government's "Neanderthal" Australian visa processing programme has halted plans to bring in 150,000 skilled Irish workers to Western Australia (WA).

Mr Collins made the comments after leading a delegation to Ireland back in July 2011 with a mission of attracting a third of Ireland's 450,000 unemployed people to live in WA.

However, Collins said that "one of the major obstacles preventing skilled Irish workers from taking up positions" were the Australian visa requirements. WA, Global Visas report, had asked the government on many occasions to relax the visa restrictions for the region, to allow them to fill the large number of jobs with skilled migrants.

Mr Collins explained, "Unless the Federal Government shows some flexibility and foresight with regard to our labour force needs projects in WA are seriously at risk."

Among the requests Mr Collins has made is an expansion of the number of roles included on the skilled migration list.

In response to the criticism, Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, argued, "Last year, the Government almost doubled the number of working holiday visas granted to Irish nationals, up to almost 22,000 places."

Ireland is now the third largest source of temporary skilled migrants through the 457 visa program.

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