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Skilled Migration Explained to Narrabri Business Chamber

Despite the ongoing economic struggle caused by the drought, skill shortages continue to impact on our region, from the hospitality to health sectors, impeding economic growth and service delivery. Senior Skilled Migration & Project Officer, Gary Fry travelled to Narrabri to speak to the Narrabri and District Chamber of Commerce to explain how skilled Migration is an important way in which we are upskilling our region and how employers can access skilled migrants.

Mr. Fry explained the retention benefit of the new Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional visa program sub-class 494. Retention of good staff can be as big a challenge as attraction and the new regional employer sponsored visa addresses that. The 494 visa is a Permanent Residency pathway and to be eligible for the 191 PR visa, sponsored skilled migrants will need to work for the sponsoring employer for three years. It is a priority visa program for the Australian Government, which commenced on 16 November and replaced the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme which was a direct entry PR visa.

The Narrabri Business Chamber was also briefed on the regional state sponsored 489 visa program. These visa recipients applied to this region for State nomination if they met the requirements for an occupation on our regional list, which covered a broad range of in-demand occupations such as registered nurses, chefs and metal trades. They need to live and work regionally for two years in order to be eligible for Permanent Residency. As they do not receive welfare or Medicare, getting employment quickly when they come to the region is a high priority for them.

RDANI established the Skilled Migration Jobs Board Northern Inland Facebook group as an online service for skilled migrants in or coming to the region and employers to connect. This online resource is a successful initiative, with 664 members. It is an engagement tool that has achieved numerous employment outcomes. Skilled migrants who are settled in the region with a job continue to monitor the Group and help with employment advice for newcomers. Mr. Fry encouraged the Narrabri Chamber of Commerce members to join that group and was delighted to see one of the progressive members do so immediately.

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