Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan announced, as part of the new budget, a 60 percent increase in skilled migrant intakes under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.
Under the Scheme employers can sponsor a skilled migrant on the condition that they live and work in the area for at least two years.
The budget is also expected to streamline the administration of the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme, allowing local authorities to tailor the scheme to suit their different labour needs. This year, about 10,000 migrants entered Australia on the scheme out of a skilled migrant intake of 113,850.
The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme intake will be increased by 6000, with the administrative shake-up expected to make the program more responsive to the needs of communities in mining areas of Western Australia and Queensland.