The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the Australian Government have reached agreement on the Goldfields Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA), which has been signed off by Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, David Coleman.
The Goldfields DAMA is a program aimed at attracting skilled migrant workers to Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the Goldfields region, and allows Goldfields employers to sponsor skilled overseas workers in areas that are experiencing skills and labour shortages in certain industries.
City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder CEO John Walker said the DAMA would not only help grow the communities of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the Goldfields, but also work to actively combat Fly In, Fly Out workforces around the region, as the workers immigrating to Australia under the DAMA would be required to live and work in the region.
“We are very pleased to be announcing this five year labour agreement between the Shires of Coolgardie, Leonora and Menzies and the City with the Federal Government, with the strong support of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy, the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Regional Development Australia Goldfields Esperance,” he said.
“This is a program that’s aimed at attracting a skilled migrant workforce to our City and our region, to help fill the massive shortfall in skilled workers and form a stable residential workforce in the region.”
“It’s well known that there are around 1000 job vacancies in the region, which the DAMA will help fill, but it is not targeted at just mining and heavy industry jobs. We’ve also included jobs like childcare workers, hospitality workers, and disability and aged care workers on the approved list of skilled workers, to help fill the shortages in these industries. Lack of childcare is a huge issue here, and it stems from not having enough skilled childcare workers in the region, or willing to move here from other parts of Australia, so the DAMA will hopefully help us overcome this.
“Everyone involved in the Goldfields DAMA advocates that employment should be offered to Australians first, but where there are substantial skills shortages it not only results in vacant jobs, but also a lack of skilled workers to train apprentices and trainees, and upskill young workers and the local workforce, including providing Aboriginal traineeships.”
All employers will be required to submit their Goldfields DAMA applications to the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder for endorsement. The City expects to start processing applications by July 2019. A maximum of 500 applications will be endorsed in the first twelve months. Representatives from the Office of Home Affairs will be in Kalgoorlie-Boulder in the coming weeks to brief employers on the Goldfields DAMA.