As per the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) – a policy institute for issues related to regional Australia – more than 44,600 job vacancies in regional Australia are currently unfilled. To address this deficiency, the RAI has released a seven-step toolkit designed to help communities attract foreign workers to regional and rural areas of Australia, where their skills are needed to drive economic growth. This is an encouraging development for immigration aspirants, since it enhances job opportunities and facilitates community integration in Australia.
In recent years, chronic labor shortages in regional Australia have resulted in population decline and driven business to closure. To ensure that newcomers who migrate to Australia
are attracted to regional areas and integrated into the local communities and workforce, RAI suggested the following steps:
• Initiating a settlement strategy
• Organizing and consulting local communities
• Welcoming and hosting new migrants
• Securing employment for new migrants
• Securing housing for new migrants
• Fostering community cohesion
• Considering culture, customs and environment
More than 111,000 skilled migrants entered Australia between 2017 and 2018. Of these, only a little over 6,000 migrated through the Regional Sponsored Migration scheme – an Australia PR
(permanent residence) pathway for skilled workers who are nominated by an employer to live and work in regional Australia. This indicates a 39% decrease in regional migration, compared to the 2016-17 statistics.
Previously, immigrants have avoided regional Australia due to limited access to services, insufficient infrastructure, lack of an established support system or community of fellow immigrants, and social isolation. The new recommendations made by RAI are aimed towards tackling these issues and creating a more inclusive and welcoming atmosphere to retain new immigrants in the areas where their skills are required.
By implementing these ideas, authorities can increase the inflow of immigrants to regional Australia, support their efforts to establish themselves in the community, and eventually enable them to gain Australian citizenship. This is a long-term strategy for immigrants to sustain local businesses and industries in regional Australia.