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Attracting overseas skilled workers for the Mining and Resources Sector


SkillSelect presentation at the London Expo


We’re all familiar with media highlighting skills shortages, particularly in the resources sector where there are not enough Australian workers available. A blog post by Tom (June 7 last year) explained how the introduction of Enterprise Migration Agreements would assist employers to secure overseas skilled workers in order to support this important sector of the Australian economy.

Building on this, from July 1 the government will introduce a new method for selecting skilled migrants, called SkillSelect to further help employers seeking skilled workers.

SkillSelect will provide registered employers with access to high quality, pre-screened migrants interested in sponsorship under the subclass 457, ENS and RSMS programs.

It is an efficient and easy to use system that will record intending migrants’ qualifications, work experience, the visas in which they are interested and whether they are willing to work in regionalAustralia.  They will have evidence of their English language ability and most will have already had their skills assessed.  SkillSelect will bring potential overseas workers to employers and facilitate contact between the employer and intending migrants.  In addition, by matching the number of migration program places to the number of visa applications SkillSelect will streamline processing times and speed up the migration program’s response to business needs.

At a recent Skills Australia Needs event we staged in London, 28 Australian employers met 878 pre-screened skilled workers.  As many as 500 overseas engineers and tradies will be sponsored to positions which employers were previously unable to fill through the Australian labour force.

Other recent events we’ve presented in Germany, Greece and Dubai have attracted interest from high quality engineering professionals, tradies, and healthcare professionals.  Further promotional events are planned for the USA in May.  Details will be provided shortly on the department’s website at: http://www.immi.gov.au/skillevents/upcoming-events.htm

You can read more by also visiting the SkillSelect website.

Comments (3)


Is there a way that education providers will be able to connect with employers who are looking to sponsor?

University Careers Advisor


Hi Kristina.

SkillSelect has been designed to directly connect employers with skilled workers that they may be willing to sponsor. The process requires that employers first contact migrants through the SkillSelect system. SkillSelect will then send the migrant an email explaining that an employer wishes to speak to them, and will provide the employers contact details. If the migrant wishes to engage with the employer they can then contact the employer outside of SkillSelect through email, phone calls or meetings etc. There will be no facility for third parties to contact employers or migrants through SkillSelect.

Thanks for you enquiry.



Hi there,

My partner is a plant operator and we've been trying for a year to emigrate to Australia but havent had any luck because of the current laws on his job.

Will regional migration agreements and EMA's help our chances of sponsorship?? If so then what sort of timeline will it be untill they are up and running?

Hi Stacey
Thanks for your question. Generally speaking, EMAs and RMAs will allow for skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers to come to Australia to fill gaps in the labour market. However it is important to note that it is Australian employers who will establish which occupations and positions cannot be filled locally and are therefore required under an EMA or RMA.

No EMAs or RMAs have been signed at this stage.