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The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen MP has announced that the government will increase targeted migration to help address Australia's skills shortage in 2012-13. While this may be welcomed news by those struggling to find workers, particularly in Western Australia and Queensland, the question "is it enough?" will no doubt become the centre of debate moving forward.
The government will increase number of places in its 2012-13 migration program from 185,000 places to 190,000 - a further 5,000 places. The breakdown of these places will be allocated as 129,250 for the skilled stream, 60,185 places for the family stream and 565 places for the special eligibility stream.
In his announcement, Mr Bowen said "the measured increase of 5000 places—from 185 000 to 190 000—comes in the context of significant skills gaps in both the short and medium term in certain sectors of our patchwork economy."
Mr Bowen also highlighted the contribution that skilled migrants are making to growth regions around Australia - "skilled migrants are increasingly moving to growth regions and places where there is demand they are complementing rather than competing with our domestic labour force."
To read Mr Bowen's media release, click here.
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