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Germany has approved proposals to help make the country more attractive to highly skilled foreign workers. The German cabinet approved the plan on July 16th, aimed at reducing skilled labor shortages in sectors such as engineering and information technology.
Graduates from newer European Union Member States may work freely in Germany from January 1st, 2009 without having to prove a German worker was available to fill the position. The required wage for highly skilled foreign workers to be approved for a work permit is reduced by over 25%.
Employers in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan need more qualified personnel in fields such as mechanical trades. A new test project has been announced to make it easier for immigrants in Saskatchewan to have their foreign credentials recognized.
The new project will implement a system allowing immigrants to have credentials & job experience obtained abroad recognized as equal to established Canadian standards. The Foreign Credentials Recognition Support for Labour Market Needs in Saskatchewan project will receive CAD $3 million from the federal government to get started.
Australia may need to let in more unskilled foreign labor to meet critical shortages in some industries. Immigration Minister Chris Evans told the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy that the agricultural, hospitality, and aged care industries are demanding access to unskilled and semi-skilled workers from overseas.
According to Evans, in some cases businesses may be forced to shut down if they cannot fill vacancies with foreign workers. He characterized the Australian economy as "already reliant" on "temporary and unskilled foreign labor." Current Australian immigration policy gives preference to skilled immigrants.
New immigration data from Australia shows nearly a 27% increase in its 457 temporary skilled migration program for the 2007-2008 fiscal year. Over 110,000 temporary visas were granted to foreign workers and their dependents for that time period, compared to over 87,000 during the previous one.
The number of primary visa holders increased from 46,680 to 58,050, up almost 25%. New South Wales had the largest number of primary 457 visa holders, followed by Western Australia. Nearly 25% of 457 visa holders for 2007-2008 came from the United Kingdom. They were followed by India at 14%, the Philippines at 9%, and the U.S., South Africa and China at 6% each.
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