Overseas workers flood Queensland

OVERSEAS meatworkers have flooded Queensland at a time when many international workers are being turned away from Australia amid concerns about unemployment.

Overseas-trained registered nurses and civil engineers are also continuing to boost Queensland’s employment stocks, although the overall numbers have fallen because of the global financial crisis.

The statistics, to be released by Immigration Minister Chris Evans today, reveal which nationalities with particular skills are targeting Queensland.

The number of skilled meatworkers granted work in Queensland rocketed to 400 in the year to last month, compared with 50 in the year to the previous April – an increase of about 700 per cent.

The number of overseas workers targeting Australia under the temporary 457 visa – lodged in April 2009 – is at its lowest rate in four years but many are still being funnelled into states because of the continuing skills crisis.

Senator Evans said the number of temporary skilled migration numbers was falling because of the financial crisis and -changes implemented by the Rudd Government to protect local jobs.

He said the number of temporary skilled migration visas granted in April this year was about 23 per cent lower than in March and 64 per cent lower than in September last year.

-The subclass 457 visa program is showing that it is responding to the economic conditions and reduced demand in the labour market,Senator Evans said.

Registered nurses are continuing to flock to Queensland, although there has been a reduction in numbers from the same period 12 months ago.

About 650 overseas registered nurses were granted work in Queensland this financial year compared with 740 in the past financial year, which is a decrease of 13 per cent.

Civil engineers also targeted Queensland, with 320 granted visas this financial year, down from 330 the past financial year.

The report reveals the top five sources of citizens applying for work in Queensland are the UK, the Philippines, South Africa, India and the US.

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