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Dublin: 8 °C Saturday 7 December, 2019

Australian minister says Irish 'salivating' at thought of working in Oz

Peter Collier, Western Australia’s Workforce Minister, wants to see thousands of visas given to unemployed Irish people willing to emigrate.

A working abroad expo earlier this year.
A working abroad expo earlier this year.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S WORKFORCE Minister Peter Collier has said that Irish people are “salivating” at the opportunity to go work “Down Under”.

Following a trip to Ireland and the UK in July, the Minister is now trying to push through legislation that will allow thousands of unemployed Irish workers to emigrate to Western Australia.

According to Perth Now, businesses in the area are suffering from a skills shortage and are on the losing end of a “war for talent” with other regions.

A Deloitte discussion paper launched this week told businesses they needed to act now to halt the skills crisis.

The State Government has predicted a 117,000 worker shortfall by 2015, with that number increasing to 170,000 by 2017.

Collier used the paper to reiterate his calls for the Federal Government to “get a move on” in relation to visa requirements that stall the process of getting skilled migrants into the country.

Last week, the outspoken minister said he was “sick of talking” to the Immigration Minister about the issue and wants to work directly with the Irish Government.

He said the State should welcome “as many workers as [Ireland] will give us”. To facilitate this, he believes temporary company-sponsored 457 visas could be used, according to The West Australian.

The Minister even threatened to bypass the Federal Government.

“We’re going to go around the Feds on this thing. We’ll work with the Irish Government and we’ll hold it up as a big success,” he said.

“We’ve got no language barrier, no qualification barriers, it’s a relationship born in heaven.”

More: Australia touted as jobseekers head to Working Abroad Expo>

Read: Western Australia ‘can take one-third of unemployed from Ireland’>

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