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Region Updated On Employer Sponsored Visas

Migration agent with new Armidale legal firm “Legal Minds”, Christopher Serow; Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings; Officer Manager with Armidale based “Veterinary Health Research”, Helen Dawson; and Post-graduate student at UNE, Barney Keqa from the Solomon Islands.
Migration agent with new Armidale legal firm “Legal Minds”, Christopher Serow; Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings; Officer Manager with Armidale based “Veterinary Health Research”, Helen Dawson; and Post-graduate student at UNE, Barney Keqa from the Solomon Islands.
A recent week-long series of seminars to discuss changes to Employer Sponsored Visas across the New England North West region was extremely constructive and well supported by local communities, according to Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings.
RDANI and Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) jointly staged the information sessions for employers, together with current and prospective employer sponsored visa holders. They took place in Tamworth, Armidale, Inverell and Moree.
The information sessions hosted as many as 40 attendees. Ms Hastings said that the seminars in Tamworth and Armidale had seen interest in job areas such as architecture, manufacturing and quality assurance. Particularly strong interest was shown at Inverell, where worker shortages are problematic to the local abattoir industry. “In recent years, employer sponsored visas have been important to ongoing business development in Moree and Narrabri. The Moree information session demonstrated that currently, skilled migrant needs in the Moree business sector were especially evident in the construction industry,” she said.
 
Regional Development Australia Northern Inland is funded by the NSW Department of Industry and Investment to act as a certifying body for employer sponsored visas. Ms Hastings said the seminars represented important opportunities for the region’s employers with skilled labour needs.

“The purpose of these seminars was primarily to provide the latest information on employer sponsored visas. It was a timely opportunity to learn about changes to the 457 Visa, which came into effect on 14 September, 2009,” she said. “The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, has set new priority processing arrangements that were legislated on 23 September, 2009.”
 
The seminar series also introduced the new Immigration Department’s Regional Outreach Officer for the Regional Migration Initiative, Rhett Henkel.
“It’s important that the region’s employers are provided with face-to-face contact with Immigration Officials. This ensures equity for the region. These visits are vital to regional communities, so they have access to the same services and support that employers and people living in metropolitan areas have,” Ms Hastings said.
 

“Many local organisations, both large and small, are experiencing skilled labour shortages. These are generally in trades such as electricians, boiler makers and welders, although there are also shortages in areas such as health and allied professionals,” she said. “If employers cannot fill a position locally, they can then look overseas.”

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