Current at: 01 May 2006
The Housing Industry Association has welcomed today’s announcement by the Federal Government to provide 97,500 visas for skilled migrants in 2006-07, with trades in the housing industry to receive greater priority.
HIA Managing Director Ron Silberberg said an expanded skilled migration program will stimulate economic growth and add to Australia ’s skills base.
HIA has been working closely with the Government to tackle skill shortages in the housing industry.
“HIA has consistently advocated the need for trade training reforms, and as an interim solution increases in skilled migration to boost the supply of skilled trades within the industry,” Dr Silberberg said.
Dr Silberberg stressed skilled migration is a short-term assistance measure and that only extensive training reforms will resolve skills shortages faced by the industry.
“The need for training reform is vital in addressing skill shortages within the industry,” Dr Silberberg said. “HIA is working closely with the Government to not only identify skill shortages, but effect necessary training reforms to attract new entrants to the industry and improve trade training completion rates.”
The Government’s skilled migration initiatives have worked well over the past 12 months.
Improvements to the employer sponsorship scheme and the expansion of the Migration Occupations in Demands List (MODL) have proven tremendously successful in matching skilled migrants to skill shortages.
HIA is a prominent player in the push to bring more young Australians into the industry through its advocacy of training reforms and more directly through its group apprenticeship scheme, HIA Apprentices, which employs more than 1000 apprentices.