An extra 194 occupations have been added to the Graduate Occupation List in a bid to tap the international student market to alleviate WA’s skills shortage.
The State Government said on Monday (May 23) that the total number of listed occupations will grow to 331 to attract more international students to study in WA.
The skilled migration pathway will also provide international students graduating in WA with the option to apply for permanent residence.
Along with prioritising applicants who are already in WA and Australia, the Government said it had expanded the skilled migration criteria to allow offshore candidates to apply for WA State nomination.
The new initiatives also complement strategies to address skills shortages following industry consultation at the Perth and Regional Skills Summits.
More information is available on the Migration WA website: migration.wa.gov.au.
Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said: “Meeting Western Australia’s skilled workforce needs is a priority for the State Government, to support the State’s strong economic growth and pipeline of works.
“The State Government is committed to encouraging the return of international students to WA to support our international education sector and address skills shortages in key industries.”
Holiday maker program
The Government is also encouraging working holiday makers from overseas and interstate to ‘stay and play’ in WA, with the aim of boosting the seasonal workforce at key tourism destinations and regional locations.
Promotional campaigns in the UK and Europe, Japan and South Korea will feature flight offers, incentives and working holiday maker packages, while a national ‘Paid Escape’ campaign encourages working holiday makers who are interstate to visit WA for a unique west coast experience.
Eligible working holiday makers can also make an extra $2100 to work and travel in select regional locations through the WA Government’s Regional Agriculture, Tourism and Hospitality Workers Travel and Accommodation Support Scheme.
The Paid Escape website advertises jobs across WA in a wide range of regional areas including Albany, Bunbury and the South-West, Broome, Esperance, Exmouth, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Kununurra, Mandurah and Peel, Margaret River, Merredin, Northam and Port Hedland.
In 2019, WA welcomed 51,000 working holiday makers who stayed for a total of 4.48 million nights and spent $234 million in the State — equivalent to 9 per cent of international visitor spend in the State.
The UK was WA’s top visitor market in 2019, with 141,600 people travelling to WA and spending $249m.
The State Government, through Tourism WA, is also targeting UK visitors through partnerships with two of the UK’s biggest tourism operators to Australia, Trailfinders and dnata.
For general employee advice and guidance, contact CCIWA’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or email [email protected].