The federal government has announced an additional 9150 places for the employer-sponsored migration program which will be balanced by a cut of 3600 general migration places.
The overall size of Australia’s migration program will remain the same but there will be a greater focus on the nation’s skills needs.
An additional 200 visas in the business skills category will also be offered in 2010/11.
The changes, announced in the budget, will see the overall skilled migration intake boosted by 5750 places.
Immigration Minister Chris Evans said the reforms were aimed at delivering a more demand driven skilled migration program.
The updated focus will help further assist employers by ensuring they have access to applicants with skills in high demand that cannot be met from domestic sources, Senator Evans said.
Foreign skilled labour is an important driver of economic growth and contributes to increased productivity and labour force levels. It also benefits migrants by ensuring they have a job with a direct match to their skills on arrival in Australia.
Australia’s overall annual migration level will not change, remaining at 168,700 places.
However, the government has cut the number of family migration places by 5750. The changes mean Australia’s migrant intake will be made up of a total skills stream of 113,850 places, a total family stream of 54,550 and 300 special eligibility places.