South Australia attracts skilled migrants

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The Australian government has signed a state migration agreement with South Australia that will help meet the Australian state's need for skilled migrants.

"State migration plans are part of the government's continued commitment to supporting the Australian economy by attracting skilled migrants who can positively contribute to our workforce," said Immigration Minister Chris Bowen.

"The implementation of state migration plans will provide flexibility for state and territory governments to nominate skilled migrants in a broader range of occupations than are currently offered on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL)," he added.

Australia has a points based immigration system which allows foreign nationals with skills in occupations that exist on the SOL to apply for a permanent residence visa. Some of these visas require sponsorship from a state/territory government.

The South Australian state migration plan specifies a number of occupations that are available for state sponsorship under the General Skilled Migration program for 2010-11.

"This plan recognises that there are specific occupations required by South Australia's industry sectors in order for the state to build a prosperous economy," said SA Minister for Industry and Trade Tom Koutsantonis.

"With more than $80 billion of major projects underway or in the pipeline, and strong prospects of outperforming the national economy over the next decade, there is a demand for skills in South Australia that may not be met by our local workforce," he added.

The State Migration Plan lists 258 occupations, some of which will be unique to South Australia. Occupations range from trades such mechanics, welders, and locksmiths to professional occupations such as doctors and engineers.

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