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Call for migrant work

The Howard Government has failed to remove barriers preventing skilled Western Australian migrants getting work while the country cries out for tradespeople, the State Government says. Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Margaret Quirk said, under the Commonwealth’s rules, WA migrants were paying up to $1,000 to have a Trades Recognition Australia assessor fly from Queensland to get their qualifications recognised. “Two Trades Recognition Australia officers who were dedicated to addressing skills recognition were based in WA for about two decades until the late 1990s - the eve of the skills shortage,” she said. “Newly arrived migrants and refugees with trade skills must apply for skills assessment through TRA’s Brisbane office. “The TRA’s assessment processes are lengthy, and mail and telephone interviews disadvantage applicants from WA, particularly those whose English is not good.” Ms Quirk said the Federal Government had to introduce appropriate systems to recognise skilled migrants in order to maximise Australia’s human capital and address industry needs.

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