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Australia: New skills-based immigration policy announced
Australia has decided to completely change its immigration policy by abolishing the list of 106 ‘in demand’ skills which it currently uses and also review the points-based assessment system for new immigrants. Chris Evans, the Immigration minister, said that the county would target ‘high-end’ applicants in areas such as health workers, including more doctors and nurses, as well as engineering and mining. In 2009, 170 000 people applied for skilled migrant status, which enables them to live and work permanently in Australia, although there were only 108 100 places available. The current system has been criticised for failing to address the needs of growth industries which suffer from a lack of staff, such as mining and which instead allows students who have been studying vocational courses such as cooking and hairdressing to apply for residency.