||Issue No. 263||13 May 2005|
A Fistful of Dollars
Interview: Fortress NSW
Unions: Fashions Afield
Industrial: Pay Dirt
Politics: Infrastructure Blues
History: Big Day Out
International: Making History
Economics: The Fear Factor
Review: The Robots Revolt
Poetry: The Corporation's Power
The Locker Room
US To Drain More Aussie Brains
More than 10,000 Australians will be eligible each year for the visas which take out age and length of stay barriers and provide partners with the opportunity to work overseas as well.
Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists, and Managers, Australia chief executive John Vines said Australian companies were already having problems attracting engineering and science graduates and the new visa could now siphon top professionals as well.
"By failing to implement adequate recruitment and retention strategies for industries most impacted by the brain drain, the Federal Government leaves the country vulnerable, particularly as Australian professionals are now much sort after."
He said likely impacts included:
- Experts in some of Australia's most important fields could now choose to spend the remainder of their careers in America, enjoying the higher wages that they and their spouses could earn there
- Removing length of stay limits meant recent graduates wanting to gain experience in America could now remain there permanently
- Providing 10,500 of these work visas to Australians every year instead of requiring every country to compete on an equal footing meant the long term impact could be devastating for some of the most vulnerable industries
- Allowing spouses to work overseas meant professionals could be less likely to want to uproot their families a second time and return.
Vines said federal Trade Minister Mark Vaile's assertion that he did not believe the new visa would have a negative impact on the nation's brain drain, was plainly wrong.
"A government that puts its head in the sand when it does not want to face up to reality will always have a hard time implementing the necessary policies to deal with issues like the brain drain," he said.
"America has a plan for attracting our skilled professionals. What we need right now is a strategy backed by sufficient support and resources to ensure that remuneration levels in Australia are competitive in terms of our ability to make sure their skills are not lost forever from Australia."
APESMA represents more than 25,000 professionals throughout Australia.
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