Regional Australia Institute has rolled out a toolkit in rural and regional Australia for attracting more skilled employees. The rural areas have low population where agriculture dominates. Presently there are rapid changes owing to technological advances. There is a difficulty in attracting skilled workers. There are vacant jobs in the logistics and transport industry similar to the jobs in factories.
The necessity of technicians
Presently there is a high demand for people who have the understanding of producing high yield crops. Today the workers look at a screen and there is a use of the GPS system. There is a necessity of the technicians and the operators to manage the equipment and service it but that is hard to find. There are small groups of migrant workers from Colombia living in the towns.
The Regional Australia Institute states that the job vacancies currently add up to 44,600 in the regional Australia. Persistent labor shortages have impacted on these regional areas, and there is a population decline leading to closing of many businesses. Moreover, RAI, the policy institute to deal with issues concerning regional Australia, has launched a new toolkit for helping the communities to attract migrants for settling in rural and regional areas.
The toolkit has sections covering the issues of welcoming and hosting migrants, securing housing and employment, and the importance of environment, culture, and customs.
When migrants accompany their family and move to regional Australian community they need to feel at home on arriving. The toolkit suggests that a community should do this, with the help of a committee. Additionally, the migrant family should not feel isolated. This will help them to stay there.
Decline in regional area migration
The statistics of the Government in 2017-18, reveal that among the 111,000 skilled migrants arriving in Australia, only 6,000 participated in the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme. As per a 2018 study, the aspects keeping the migrants away from these regions are social isolation, limited services, and few opportunities to connect with of a similar people. Another issue is infrastructure and lack of appropriate housing. There is a need of community to take up Building initiatives and fund the housing projects. Families will move when they have suitable and affordable houses for them. If such initiatives are successful the new arrivals can come have a house available on rent and they buy it also. This will act as glue and help them to be a part of the community.
Consultation can make regional migration successful
Emmanuel Musoni, was a Rwandan refugee and has worked with the RAI to co-develop this toolkit.
He carried out the consultations with migrants and refugees for finding out the obstacles for migration to regional areas.
He worked with regional communities to understand the ways to make the towns attractive to migrants/refugees.
Many businesses are in a position to attract migrants and can also form big communities. Experts also feel that the government as well as the regional communities must encourage people for staying in regional areas by doing more active measures. The areas must be a welcoming community, jobs, proper infrastructure and better services that support migrants. People also settle in regional or rural locations, but return to urban centers, in case of not finding work, or missing the social support of communities.
If these issues and concerns are attended, in a phased and systematic manner, there can be positive and better results, in the near future.