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Why Skilled Migration?

Finding skilled workers can be a challenge for Victorian employers across a range of industries and workplaces. Australia's skilled migration system targets overseas skilled workers with the skills Australia needs.

When local sources of labour don’t provide the required skills, knowledge and expertise, skilled migration can be a viable solution.

The impacts of skill shortages

Skill shortages can affect the productivity and growth of a business, delay projects, create ongoing vacancies, increase wage levels, limit capacity for research and development, and place pressure on existing staff.

Many factors contribute to skill shortages, and can impact some industries more than others. Common factors include:

  • More workers retiring with fewer people available to replace them
  • Demand for new or rare skills
  • New technologies requiring new skills
  • Not enough skilled workers in locations where they are needed.

The challenge to find skilled workers

Employers experiencing skills shortages or recruitment difficulties may struggle to find skilled workers for many reasons:

  • Training lead times are too long to provide skilled workers within the required timeline
  • Positions require specialist knowledge, skills and experience that take a long time to develop or are hard to find in Australia
  • Efforts to train, recruit or use existing workers in Australia have not been successful.

This is where skilled migration can help if the occupation is at an eligible skill level.

The skilled migration solution

Australia’s skilled migration system prioritises the selection of skilled migrants with the skills to address the shortages in Australia's labour market. It targets overseas skilled workers with the skills Australia needs across many industries and complements domestic training policies.

Skilled migration facts
  • 128,550 skill stream visas granted in Australia in 2013-14, with the Skill stream comprising approximately 67.7 per cent of the total programme (Skill, family and special eligibility streams).1
  • Top countries for Australia's migration program in 2013-14 were India, China and the United Kingdom.
  • In 2013-14, the top three occupation groups for primary visa grants in the Skill stream were Professionals (63.1 per cent), Technicians and Trades Workers (22.0 per cent) and Managers (8.6 per cent).
  • Skilled migrants, international graduates and working holiday makers, locate to Victoria as temporary and permanent migrants in a wide range of occupations and through a variety of visa pathways.

A wide range of migration statistics are available on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.


1 DIBP (2014), 2013-14 Migration Program Report: Programme year to 30 June 2014, p.2

Doris Hamilton's story

Nurses standing in a hospital nursing station

Recruiting regional health workers

Thanks to skilled migration, Otway Health now has a full staff in its busy Critical Care Division.

Read Doris' story