Western Australia has taken a number of new initiatives to improve its skilled migration program.
The Western Australian government unveiled several adjustments to the Skilled Migration program in order to streamline and expedite skilled migration to the state.
According to the state government, the State Nominated Migration Program (SNMP) will now prioritise skilled migrants who are already residing in Western Australia, as well as skilled migration applicants from other states and abroad.
The state government has also launched the Skilled Migrant Employment Register to help skilled migrants connect with employment opportunities in Western Australia.
Furthermore, Western Australia has launched a $4.25 million Skilled Migration Job Connect program, which aims to remove barriers for newly arrived skilled migrants and help them connect with jobs that match their formal qualifications, skills and experience.
This program will also provide financial support for skilled migrants to undertake skills assessments and meet occupational licensing requirements.
In addition, the Migration Western Australia website has been upgraded to assist skilled migrants in accessing critical information to support their stay in the state.
Another initiative taken by the Western Australia state government to improve skilled migration is the new $11 million Construction Visa Subsidy Program.
This new program provides targeted visa subsidies to attract skilled workers to boost the state’s construction industry, which is suffering from labour shortages.
Other changes to Western Australia’s skilled migration program include:
- Adding more than 100 occupations to the state’s Skilled Migration Occupation List in fields such as health, ICT, engineering and primary industries;
- Waiving the $200 application fee;
- Reducing the employment contract requirement from 12 to six months;
- Removing requirements for applicants to demonstrate sufficient funds;
- Relaxing English language requirements for professional and manager occupations;
- Equally prioritising applicants residing in other Australian states and abroad;
- Prioritising invitations for industries with critical worker shortages, such as health and medical, teaching, building and construction, and tourism and hospitality.
Western Australia has a record of attracting high numbers of skilled migrants every year, with more than 8,000 skilled workers nominated in the 2022-23 fiscal year.
The strong skilled migration program is set to continue in 2023-24 as well, with the Australian federal government designating to Western Australia invitation spots for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) and the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491).