In breaking news, the Australian Government has announced new measures to make it easier for skilled US workers to come to Australia.

At 5.2%, Australia has a comparatively low unemployment rate, and employers have warned of chronic skill shortages in the booming construction and resources sectors.  By contrast, the US unemployment rate is hovering at 8.3%, with many in the construction industry struggling to find steady work.

In an attempt to lure US workers to antipodean shores, the Australian Government will overhaul the way it assesses their skills. Currently, the assessment process takes place in Australia and it can take many months for skilled workers to obtain the licences they need to start work. Under the new initiative, applicants can complete a skills assessment in the US which will give them immediate access to provisional Australian licences.

Jeffery Bleich, the US Ambassador to Australia, said it was a ‘win/win’ for both countries, and that many of the job vacancies on remote mining projects would perhaps be particularly well suited to US veterans returning from service in Afghanistan, who have a proven ability to work in challenging conditions.   

We’re told the Australian Government plans to host a number of Expos across the US to promote the opportunities available and explain how Americans can hop on board. The first one kicks off on May 19 in Houston, Texas.