Australia targets India in search for skilled immigrants

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The state government of Victoria in Australia is seeking skilled Indians.

"We are now following a very proactive strategy to attract skilled Indian immigrants to our state. This is because of the severe skills shortage that we are facing," says John Thwaites, deputy premier of Victoria.

The shortages are mainly in the areas of health services, construction and business management and the government of Victoria has recently set up office in Bangalore to address issues relating to investment and immigration and offer advisory services.

"Though immigration is the responsibility of Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs under the central government, we will do our best to help skilled Indians find the right jobs in Victoria and try to make the immigration process smooth," says Wayne Lewis, commissioner to India from Victoria.

Victoria is specifically targeting Punjab and plans to hold roadshows for potential immigrants in Chandigarh.

Factors like a review of the student visa status by the government of Australia and Victoria being home to a large Indian population should help attract a larger number of Indian students in future.

"Victoria already plays host to a big section of the Indian immigrant community. Besides, our capital city Melbourne is among the world's most multicultural destinations. We hope that these will provide good reasons for skilled Indians to head for Victoria," says Mr Thwaites.