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Global job skills: the Top 10 Most Wanted

April 19th, 2012

Green skills are a growing area of demand internationally

International recruitment firm Hays has identified 10 skills that are in growing demand in the international job market. Their clients say these are the talents in most demand. How many can you tick off, to improve your employment chances in a new country?

1. Languages

English is the main language of international business, but having an extra language or two on top of that is increasingly valuable.

2. Interpersonal skills

Making yourself understood and agreeable to clients, colleagues and senior management is important. Successful employees need to fit in, work well and present their ideas and projects confidently.

3. Leadership

A natural flair for team management is highly sought after.

4. Organisation

Businesses love employees with good time-management skills, who are able to get the most out of their day’s work without needing to be micro-managed.

5. IT skills

Of course, everyone needs to be computer competent these days, and different industries will have specific requirements on top of that. But IT skills that are in demand across the board include JAVA, .NET and C++

6. Green credentials

As industry struggles to conserve the planet’s remaining resource, Green skills are becoming increasingly important. Can you help your company reduce its environmental impact?

7. Negotiators

Belts are tightening, so companies need people who can source the best deals. If you’re a natural haggler and capable of making savings on supplies and services, you’re in demand.

8. Research & development

R&D skills are especially in demand in Technology, industrial, retail and life science industries.

9. Healthcare.

We’re all living longer. We need more people to look after us.

10. Budgeting

A good head for figures will help companies use their funds efficiently – and who doesn’t need to keep a close eye on their spreadsheets in this economic climate?

Read more about the Global economy and recruitment market here


Countdown to skilled migration overhaul

January 24th, 2012
clock face

The clock is ticking... From 1 July 2012, skilled visa migration is gonna get even harder

Drastic changes to Australia’s immigration policy are due to come into effect from 1 July this year, which has prompted a sharp, panic-fuelled peak in applications from UK residents.

As it stands, applicants are scored on a points system, based on skills, experience, language, age and general suitability. Anyone with enough points can apply to migrate to Australia. But under the rules of the new Skilled Migrant Selection Register, this won’t be enough on its own – it will only get you through to a further selection pool called SkillSelect, from which the Department of Immigration can select the ‘best and brightest’ candidates and invite them to apply.

Under this new system, chances are that fewer people will be allowed in, because the system aims to match the number of applicants to the number of available places. There could also be longer waits, as it may take up to two years for candidates to be selected from the pool.

As these huge changes loom, leading migration agents have received triple the usual number of applications from Brits hoping to move Down Under – and that’s just this month. As long as your application is lodged before 1 July, you’ll be processed under the existing system – so as you can imagine there’s a bit of a surge on as people push their plans through while the going’s still comparatively good.

VisaFirst say that in 2011 almost 24,000 Britons scored permanent resident visas – the good news being that the Aussie employers do seem to favour Brits over most other nationalities. UK citizens are the second highest successful applicants for employer-sponsored visas. And with UK unemployment currently soaring to a 17-year high,  it’s not surprising they’re all keen to abandon ship.

The agency is strongly encouraging applicants to lodge their visa applications before 1 July. Director Edwina Shanahan says that “these much more stringent regulations could prove a real obstacle and we’d encourage anyone who has ever thought about moving to Australia to get their application in now whilst there is still time to process it.

“Once the visa is granted, applicants have a five-year window to relocate, so it’s worth submitting the application now, even if you’re not planning the move just yet.” are using Australia Day (this Thursday, 26 January) to launch an awareness raising campaign to encourage prospective migrants to act now.


NB The changes will affect the following skilled migration visa subclasses: 119, 121, 132, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 175, 176, 457, 885, 886, 890, 891, 892, 893, 856, 857.

For more information visit the Department of Immigration’s SkillSelect site here

Bowen to lift refugee numbers by 50%

November 30th, 2011

The Gillard Government has announced that it intends to propose at the Labor Party’s national conference this weekend an increase of almost 50% in Australia’s intake of refugees, from 13,750 to 20,000. Read the rest of this entry »

Skilled immigration visa fees to increase from 1 Jan 2012

November 29th, 2011

The Gillard Government announced today that it will shortly implement a new visa fee system to ensure taxpayers are no longer subsidising visa applications. Read the rest of this entry »

Change to processing location for partner and family migration applications lodged in Pakistan or Afghanistan

November 27th, 2011


New family migration applications from most applicants located Afghanistan or Pakistan will soon be processed in Islamabad, Pakistan. Read the rest of this entry »

Commencement of processing of Priority 5 applications

November 25th, 2011


The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has advised that it is “very close” to allocating some Priority Group 5 applications to case officers. Read the rest of this entry »

Construction workers needed in Australia

November 3rd, 2011
construction workers

Great news for specialist construction workers wanting to work in Australia

Unless you’ve been hiding under Ayers Rock, you’ll be aware that Australia is currently benefitting from a mining boom – that is, there is a huge demand for its raw mineral exports.

This is not just good news for those in the mining and raw materials industries, who can pick and choose from the hundreds of job vacancies. It’s also having a knock-on effect in the construction industry. Construction contracts with the mining industry have almost doubled in value since last year. The hottest demand is for construction workers with experience in oil and gas.

This news comes courtesy of the annual Housing Industry Association / Cordell Construction 100 report, which reveals that almost half of Australia’s non-resident worker contracts have come courtesy of the resources sector.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics predicts that the 200,000 people currently employed in Australia’s mining industry is set to increase to 300,000 by 2015 – with 60,000 of these being construction jobs.

Western Australia and Queensland are the epicentres of the boom. In Queensland, there’s such a serious shortage of construction skills that the industry is struggling to keep pace. Queensland needs 38,000 jobs in the sector filled by 2014.

With Australia’s population growth driven largely by overseas immigration, this represents a great opportunity for skilled construction workers to migrate into the Lucky Country, either temporarily or permanently.

Stargazing business for sale

October 21st, 2011

This observatory-making business is for sale in Queensland

Are you an intrepid entrepreneur with an interest in astronomy? We’ve got wind of a unique opportunity to buy a business that designs and makes small observatory domes and sells them to stargazing enthusiasts around the world.

Astrodomes is for sale to an investor from anywhere in the world, ideally one with a keen interest in amateur astronomy. Astrodomes are made form composite materials and transported to buyers ready-made, and are also supplied in kit form.

Typical orders retail between A$2.9m and A$6.5m each. Clients are mostly universities and observatories from all over the world. The company receives about 25 inquiries a month from around the world (many driven by advertising in specialist astronomy magazines) and about five orders in hand at the moment.

The enterprise demands ongoing investment in materials, communications and technology used in developing the product – and the current owner, Colin Blumson, has identified various ways of exploiting revenue streams further in the future.

Based in the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Blumson founded the company out of an interest in astronomy and a background in boat-building. Blumson is 71 and ready to retire, seeking a suitable new owner for the company he founded.

“I wish to find a person who can make Astrodomes the business success it deserves, so it can grow as happily and successfully as it can. I need to hand the baton on.”

Offered for sale at around A$4.25 mllion is around A$1.5m of materials, the brand, designs and other intellectual property, client database, sales in progress, transitional expertise and training along with a family home, workshop and 17 hectares of land on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

Interested parties should contact Mr Colin Blumson on  +61 7 5446 7449 or email

For listings of more investment opportunities in Australia, visit


For information on business investment visas click here

Tourism jobs beckon in Australia

October 18th, 2011


Nice work if you can get it... Australia needs to fill thousands of jobs in tourism and hospitality

What with everyone and their dog desperately wanting to visit Australia, tourism has long been a healthy earner for the country. So it stands to reason that there needs to be a large workforce of hospitable types ready to cater for them; not just for hotels and organised tours, but in fields from catering to marketing to adventure activities.

A new report for the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism estimates that Australia’s tourism industry currently has around 35,8000 job vacancies which it needs to fill in order to fulfil its economic potential.

And that’s not all – by 2015 the holiday industry will need to recruit a further 56,000 people, including 26,000 skilled workers. Naturally, the idea of bringing in foreign workers to fill them is under discussion.

The industry suffers from a lack of specialist skills and staff retention, as many jobs within tourism and hospitality are seen as fairly casual.

So skilled overseas workers, who would be obliged to stay put in the job for a bit, are one solution. Extended student visas and 457 visas have already been introduced for overseas workers to this effect; both tie the visa to the job.

Structured career pathways can also help with retention, because people are likely to stick at a career for longer if they can see where it’s headed. Improved training and integration of indigenous workers could help meet the demand for Aboriginal ‘cultural experiences’ and improve indigenous employment at the same time.

This has not as yet resulted in further changes to the Permanent Skilled Migration rules, but new pathways could open up to certain skill sets in the future. Watch this space.

• Full report: National Long Term Tourism Strategy 

Australia’s rich getting richer

October 17th, 2011
Aussie houses

Home ownership accounts for most of the average Aussie's wealth

Australia’s wealthiest 20% of households are now 15% richer than they were five years ago, even after inflation adjustments. Meanwhile the poorest 20% are only 4% better off than they were then.

These findings, by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), will not be welcome news to all the protesters currently demonstrating in cities around the world against the ever-widening gap between rich and poor.

The ABS has also found that the wealthiest 20% households had an average net worth of A$2.2 million each (two-thirds of Australia’s household wealth), while the poorest 20% combined only owned 1% of household wealth, or about A$32,000 each.

Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania had lower average capital than Victoria, NSW and Western Australia. Rural areas were also worse off than capital cities by some margin. (averaging A$629,000 and A$772,000 respectively).

Most of this wealth exists in the form of home ownership – the average family’s biggest asset. More than 66% of Aussie families own their own homes, about half of whom own it outright or and half via a mortgage.

The good news is that even after inflation, the average Aussie household is still better off than they were five years ago, which isn’t the case in all countries. Average wealth across the board was up 14%.

The average Australian home is currently valued at around $531,000, and the average mortgage outstanding is A$188,000.

20% of households (presumably that millionaire top 20%) also own a second home or rental property. Over 75% of Aussie households also have superannuation funds as a major asset, averaging A$154,000 in value.

So although the gap between rich and poor seems to be as broad Down Under as it is anywhere else, Aussies still seem to be better off than many countries in terms of assets, home ownership and rising net worths.

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