Melbourne, Mar. 16 (ANI): To protect local jobs, Australian Government is set to announce a 14 percent cut on immigration intake.
The Kevin Rudd Government has revealed that it will close the gate on about 18,500 foreign workers this year in a bid to safeguard local building and manufacturing jobs.
Immigration Minister Chris Evans will reveal that the Government is to cut its permanent skilled migration program this financial year by 14 per cent to protect Australian jobs.
"Clearly the economic circumstances in Australia have changed as a result of the global financial crisis so it is prudent to reduce this year's migration intake accordingly," The Courier Mail quoted Evans, as saying.
Skilled workers such as doctors and nurses in industries and sectors, where acute skills shortages exist, will not be affected by the new measures.
However, the building and manufacturing trades will be removed from Australia's critical skills list, protecting local bricklayers, plumbers, welders, carpenters and metal fitters.
The critical skills list will now comprise mainly health and medical, engineering and IT workers.
The Government will reduce the planned record intake of 133,500 workers in 2008-09 to 115,000.
The latest Treasury figures forecast Australia's unemployment rate will peak at seven percent mid next year. In February, the jobless rate spiked to the highest monthly level since the 1991 recession at 5.2 per cent.
In December, measures were announced that only those migrants sponsored by an employer or in an occupation on the critical skills list were granted visas under the permanent skilled migration program.
Almost half of the permanent visas granted are to applicants already living and working in Australia. (ANI)