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While it has been widely noted that the current expansion in the mining and resources sector has provided roles for skilled migrant workers from countries around the world, Queensland is set to receive additional assistance to expand its economic presence.

According to official figures released by premier Anna Bligh, the state has been responsible for a high ratio of new jobs created in Australia over the last year.

At a press conference in December, Bligh asserted: “Nationally, Australia created over 4,200 jobs in November and 3,600 of them – or 86 per cent – were created in Queensland.

“What we’re seeing is more people moving here looking for work because this is the state of opportunity.”

The increase in net migration was also noted, as the mining projects quickly exhausted local labour pools in their search for specialised employees.
With interstate migration starting to slow down – the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show a net increase of 7,200 as at June 30 2011 – many firms may find that they can find the skilled labour they need from other sources.

While some of the roles offered by resource companies need years of education and experience, others are more flexible in their requirements.

These semi-skilled roles have become the focus of a new initiative issued by the state government, with the intent of improving the quality of talent available to mining concerns.

Known as the Work For Queensland Expo, the events will showcase the opportunities available to both local and international workers.
Speaking on the new projects, Bligh said: “The interest generated from the last Work For Queensland Expos was unprecedented, with more than 24,000 people – nearly enough to fill Skilled Park on the Gold Coast – attending Expos held at the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Maryborough, Whitsundays and Cairns.

“Since then some 5,655 people have been referred to recruitment agencies by the resources companies and an additional 9,000 people approached labour hire companies directly at the expos.”

With the inclusion of four new tour dates, there are plenty of opportunities available for skilled and semi-skilled workers to learn more about their employment options.

For migration agents, the fact that these events are being held with greater frequency speaks of the demonstrated need of the local economy for more employees to fill the roles vacated by those choosing to enter into the resource industries.

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