Sydney, Mar 15 : India tops in terms of workforce migrating to Australia from developing nations on temporary visas (for four years), also known as 457 visas, figures registered at the Australian government's Immigration Department show.
As many as 3670 such visas were granted to Indians by the Australian government during the past six months, followed by the Philippines (1870), China (1850) and the US (1570).
With 6130 visas, Britain contributed with the most workers during this period.
While Indian workers were concentrated in communications and health sectors, the Chinese were particularly absorbed in manufacturing, and those from the Philippines were put into building sites and manufacturing. British workers were most likely to work as doctors and nurses or in the property and business service sector. Americans were concentrated in communications.
Even as the Aussie government continues to rely more and more on foreign workforce, business groups have reportedly called for an immediate boost to skills training positions and trade unions have expressed concern over the trend as, they say, it risked lowering general wages, reported The Austraian.
In 2006-07, 46,680 temporary permits, known as 457 visas, were issued to foreign skilled workers.
The figures show the breadth of the skills crisis runs across the economy, as industries ranging from the healthcare sector to communications, mining and manufacturing import skilled workers to fill vacancies.
Health and community services accounted for 16 per cent of all the 457 visas issued, communication services 10 per cent, property and business services 10 per cent, manufacturing 9 per cent and construction 9 per cent. Professionals exceed the number of other 457 classes, making up seven of the top 10 skills categories.
According to the paper, the rate at which the visas are issued continues to grow. While 46,680 visas were issued in the 12 months to June 30 last year, 25,750 were issued in the six months to the end of December -- a 10 per cent increase on current trends.
Commenting on the trend of importing workforce from the developing world, Director of the Centre for Population and Urban Research at Monash University, Bob Birrell said the most striking trend was the high take-up rate among citizens from the developing world.
"In the six months since the end of the financial year, China has overtaken the US. That's a pretty good indication of where the program is going," he said, and added: "Five or six years ago, that was not the case."