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Western Australia Secures 10,000 Skilled Migration Places to Address Labor Shortages

In a pivotal move to ease critical labor shortages and boost economic growth, the Cook and Albanese Labor Governments have finalized a groundbreaking deal securing 10,000 skilled migration places for the fiscal year 2024-25. This agreement not only aims to bolster Western Australia's (WA) economy but also supports the state's residential construction sector amid escalating demand.

The signed agreement between the Cook and Albanese Governments responds directly to industry needs by addressing gaps in the local labor market that cannot be adequately filled domestically. By splitting these migration places between the State Nominated Migration Program (SNMP) and a newly established WA Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA), the initiative seeks to optimize workforce allocation across sectors.

Under the terms of the deal;

  • WA's allocation under the SNMP will increase significantly, rising from 2,350 places last year to 5,000 places.

  • The SNMP empowers the WA Government to prioritize skilled migration based on the state's specific economic needs.

  • Provides crucial flexibility, particularly beneficial to small and medium-sized enterprises.

  • It helps them navigate federal visa requirements more effectively.

In tandem with the SNMP expansion, the introduction of the WA DAMA further enhances the state's capacity to attract and retain skilled workers. This agreement allocates another 5000 migration places, evenly distributed between metropolitan and regional employers. It addresses pressing demands in industries such as building and construction, health and aged care, tourism and hospitality, and agriculture, crucial for sustaining WA's economic momentum.

The WA DAMA will operate alongside existing agreements in regional areas like the Kimberley, Pilbara, Goldfields, and South West, which have proven instrumental in mitigating local workforce shortages. By offering a broader spectrum of eligible occupations and streamlined pathways to permanent residency, the WA DAMA aims to incentivize skilled migrants to settle in regional WA, thereby bolstering local economies.

Reflecting on the significance of this initiative, Premier Roger Cook underscored WA's economic vitality and attractiveness as a destination for skilled professionals. "We are committed to cultivating local jobs while ensuring our state's economic resilience through strategic immigration policies," stated Premier Cook. The agreement with the Commonwealth Government underscores WA's proactive stance in welcoming skilled migrants to sustain growth and meet housing demands.

Minister for Training and Workforce Development highlighted the government's focus on developing local talent through programs such as free and low-cost TAFE courses, alongside efforts to supplement the workforce with skilled migrants. Minister McGurk stated that securing 10,000 skilled migration places acknowledges the specific economic dynamics of Western Australia and reinforces its role in contributing to national prosperity.

As WA prepares to implement these measures, stakeholders anticipate a positive impact on workforce stability and economic expansion. The agreement not only addresses immediate labor shortages but also positions WA as a pivotal contributor to Australia's economic landscape, reinforcing its role as an economic powerhouse committed to sustainable growth and prosperity.


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