Skilled immigrant workers are playing important role in Australia resource regions

Skilled workers from abroad are one of the most important factors for the success of the Australian resources industry according to new research made by Central Queensland University.

Foreigners provide a vast range of essential workers and are needed beyond the resource sector such as in medical care and mechanics.

For example, a report made in the Gladstone, South Australia, found that 51% of the dentists in the town are foreigners. Dr Ros Cameron from Central Queensland University who leads the Gladstone Skilled Migration Research Report said that for the first time it becomes clear how important are skilled migrants in resource regions.

According to him, foreigners are providing around one-third of the health services in the city. In addition to that, they are delivering a lot of important skills such as chefs, welders and motor mechanics.

Cameron said the Gladstone example showed the importance of solving issues such as spouse isolation and the adequacy of cross-cultural training.

One of the most important findings of the study is the need for settlement assistance for spouses and families of skilled immigrants.

Businesses need to tap into existing immigrants organizations and communities in the region and to help with the integration of the skilled workers’ families in the region.

Dr Ross Cameron pointed out that “Strategies to combat racism through cross-cultural training, public celebrations of diversity, building inclusive schools and inclusive workplaces would go a long way towards assisting in the retention.

She added that up until now a lot of work has been done in this direction but there is a need for more involvement from Gladstone industry and businesses.

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