Regional opportunities for Skilled Professionals

Written by Carola Borda                

The new ‘skilled regional visas’, which will take effect in November, will open up many opportunities to international skilled professionals who cannot otherwise access the independent skilled visa to live and work in Australia. These provisional visas will potentially provide a pathway to permanent residency if all conditions on the visa are met: mainly, the visa holder (and dependants) must live and work in regional Australia. For this purpose, ‘regional Australia’ is defined as all of Australia, with the exception of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth.

Regional visas will be of great benefit to both employers and skilled professionals; they will serve as a bridge to match some employers’ need for technical and professional skills (currently struggling to source locally), with the skills and talent that international skilled professionals have to offer. According to the online job vacancy data from the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, there are many regions outside our capital cities in need of talented professionals to take on approximately 45,000 jobs available in regional areas.

Government is still to release the list of occupations in demand, however the following industries are looking particularly promising:

  • Healthcare and social services: there is a real need for GPs, allied health professionals and nurses in regional areas. Many areas often tend to struggle to recruit nurses and social workers with the right skills, therefore overseas skilled nurses will have better prospects in regional Australia.
  • Engineering and trades: there are several solar and wind farm projects currently underway (or recently completed) which will create many jobs for engineers and skilled trade workers for monitoring, maintenance and/or upgrade works. Construction work will continue to be driven by renewable energy, agriculture and mining projects.
  • Agribusiness and Manufacturing: there are many opportunities for skilled (and unskilled) agricultural work, softwoods projects, key engineering and services positions as well as new mechanical apprenticeship programs offered by some companies to grow and develop a ‘mechanically-minded’ skilled workforce in the region.
  • Hospitality and tourism: as the regions compete to attract the best talent, there will be new and interesting opportunities for chefs, pastry and patisserie makers to fill in positions to cater for growing population outside the big cities.

There will also be more incentives for international students who study and live in regional areas to take on these opportunities, as they will be eligible for an extra year of post-study work rights with the temporary graduate visa.

If you want to find out more about regional opportunities, please contact our Skilled Migration Service Team on 1300 987 071.