Victoria releases Australian skilled migration strategy

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The Premier of Victoria, John Brumby, and the Minister for Skills and Workforce Participation, Jacinta Allan, have announced Victoria's skilled migration strategy for 2008 through 2011.

The Australian state hopes to attract more highly skilled migrants, business owners, trade workers, and investors to its regional communities by increasing its share of migrants from 26.8 percent to 28.5 percent by 2011.

The strategy, 'Global Skills for Victoria', lays out four objectives towards this goal: expanding and enhancing Victoria's skills base, working towards promoting Victoria as an attractive destination for skilled migrants, assisting skilled and business migrants to make the most of their abilities, and keeping skilled migrants in Victoria.

The government will invest an extra $8.4 million AUD for the new strategy. Part of that investment will go towards a website designed to lure skilled migrants and provide support for newly arrived immigrants.

Victoria also hopes to attract skilled migrants from India and the United Kingdom by establishing presences in both countries aimed at marketing Victoria as a destination.

"These are countries that represent the largest numbers of skilled migrants who choose to come and live and work here in Victoria," said Allan.

"So we're setting up postings in those countries, to take advantage of Victoria's strong reputation in those areas. We're also embarking on a new international marketing strategy, promoting Victoria to the world," she added.

"Population growth has always underpinned our economic development and prosperity, and that growth has historically been built on immigration," said Brumby.

Victoria's 2006 census reported that 23.8 percent of the state's 4.9 million residents were born overseas.