Australia targets our army of job hunters
THE Australian government is looking to Ireland's army of unemployed to help solve a looming shortage of skilled workers there.
Western Australia has enough well-paying job vacancies to employ a third of Ireland's 450,000 unemployed, according to the region's employment minister Peter Collier.
With an unemployment rate of just 4pc and a population of two million living in an area the size of continental Europe, the region is anticipating a shortfall of 150,000 workers by 2017, he said.
The area, which is rich in oil and gas exploration, mining and agriculture, is booming and is crying out for skilled workers, he said yesterday.
"It's an economic powerhouse," Mr Collier told a recruitment drive in Dublin.
"With more than €145bn of resource and infrastructure projects planned, western Australia is on the cusp of a 25-year expansion, which will drive the nation's economy," he added.
And unlike Ireland's short-lived boom, prosperity there is based on sustainable industries, especially in mining following the discovery of vast reverses of iron ore and uranium, he said.
Job sectors that have been hardest hit by the recession here are booming Down Under.
The Australian government predicts there will be more than 20,000 vacancies in the building and construction trades by 2015, more than 28,000 jobs in health care and related fields and close to 20,000 jobs in education.