Skills shortages force Australia to poach UK talent

Australia is trying to lure more than 20,000 Britons Down Under to help plug a skills shortage.

Nurses, electricians, carpenters, accountants and hairdressers are among the workers targeted by bosses.

With a population of less than 21 million and one of the world’s strongest economies, Australia suffers from severe skills shortages.

Oonagh Baerveldt, of the Australian Visa Bureau, said: “Once again we have a supply and demand issue – the UK has the supply and Australia has the demand. The government, through consultation with industry leaders, has identified trades people, engineers and doctors as in demand and vital to the growth of the Australian economy.

“It’s often not a difficult decision to leave the British weather behind.”

Britons make up the largest percentage of skilled migrants to Australia, with 18,000 heading over in 2003-04.

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