Australia plans to hire thousands of Indians to plug skills shortage

Friday, 6 May 2011 01:53 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

MELBOURNE: Over 30,000 Australia-trained Indian graduates could be recruited as part of a plan to deal with skills shortage, which is emerging as a possible impediment for the resource boom.

Under the plan, as many as 100,000 Indians would be trained with 30,000 Australian-trained graduates to be recruited locally.

Officials of the two sides have initiated discussions with tertiary institutions and training bodies in both nations about opening up Australia’s training system, According to Australian Financial Review business daily here.

Demand for the Indian graduates will rely on the demands of mining companies, which have also been involved in discussions with officials from both the countries.

Australia’s senior trade official in India, Peter Linford told the business daily that the skills training programme offered huge opportunities for education and industry.

Linford said Austrade was working with the mining sector and India’s skills development group on the scheme which could become a model for other industries in other countries.

Indian trainees would be trained to Australian standards and employed on the same conditions as Australians.

They would be subject to existing immigration rules. A Skills Australia report earlier this week said Australia would need 2.4 million extra skilled workers in the next four years to meet the demands of the mining boom.

Nation’s Teasurer Wayne Swan said the government’s priority was to train Australians first and foremost for jobs but skilled migrants would be needed. “What the government is going to do is train Australians... we’re going to make sure that Australians can participate in the benefits of the boom,” Swan was quoted by AAP report.