Despite the global financial meltdown and widespread lay-offs, Australia still faces serious skills shortages. The obvious answer is to drag in workers with the right qualifications and experience from overseas.

It’s not hard to attract skilled people to Australia; from many places overseas it can almost look like a Shangri-la. However, the bureaucratic hoops are daunting and, technology skills requirements are a fast-moving target so often, by the time applications are processed, employers demands have changed.

Today’s The Australian Financial Review reports the way the country grants overseas technology professionals entry to the country is set for an overhaul in IT projects force migration target change (the story is behind a paywall). There’s a similar report at The Sydney Morning Herald : Migration rules set for revamp.

This is going to propel Australia’s economy. There are a number of big tech projects underway and a shortage of suitably skilled people to do the work. I’d like to see New Zealand take similar measures to make sure our nation had the skills it needs to compete on the world stage. Taking unemployed or under-employed professionals from the US, UK and other northern hemisphere countries that can’t or won’t make use of them makes a lot of sense.

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