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Australia to source more foreign workers: recruiters

(Xinhua)

15:46, March 09, 2012

SYDNEY, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Australia will employ more foreign workers through temporary visas after the federal government allows licensed recruitment agencies to act as sponsors, recruiter Adecco Group said on Friday.

Previously, only companies that directly hire the foreign workers were allowed to provide sponsorship under the 457 temporary visa scheme.

Adecco said it had recently secured a license from the federal government to act as a sponsor to on-hire overseas workers with temporary work visas in Australia.

Rick Khinda, Adecco Group Director of Marketing and Communications for Australia and New Zealand, said Adecco was one of the few recruitment companies to have done so.

Khinda said Europe has a large number of skilled workers eagerly waiting to be hired in utilities, mining and information technology sectors.

"There are some great, talented people across South East Asia, across Europe now with its high unemployment," Khinda told the Australian Associated Press (AAP) on the sidelines of a business briefing in Perth on Friday.

"I think there will be a slow increase in the 457 visas, but I don't think there is going to be a big rush because you do have to position yourselves appropriately to obtain the license," Khinda said.

BT Financial Group economist Chris Caton told the briefing that Australia's shortage of skilled labor would remain for a long time and more temporary workers would be needed.

Caton said the booming mining sector would continue to put skill shortage pressure on other sectors.

It is estimated that 45,000 more workers will be needed in the mining industry by 2020, up from 92,000 currently.

According to Adecco's research, foreign workers with temporary work visas in Australia rose four percent in 2010/11, compared to the previous year.

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