Article – New deal welcomes skilled workers to NT

by 25 November 2014

18 November 2014
John Pyrros
Neos Kosmos

The Northern Territory’s Chief Minister Adam Giles has announced a new in-principal deal signed by the Territory government and the governing Council of Kalymnos, which will help Greek skilled workers access employment in Australia’s top end.

The pilot agreement was negotiated in principal after two days of meetings with the council, by Territory representatives.

Mr Giles told Neos Kosmos the arrangement was a push toward greater levels of migration, especially with regard to jobs.

“Normally what happens is businesses will try to sponsor someone on an individual basis, but as part of the strategy that we’ve got for northern Australia we have to attract people to the Territory, we’re finding it very difficult to attract people from the southern parts of Australia.”

Kalymnos is Darwin’s oldest sister-city, and with a rich Greek culture the chief minister said it was an opportunity to explore untapped resources.

“We have a very good relationship with Greece and we want to be able to extend that, so a few months ago we signed a direct area migration agreement (DAMA), which allows us to try and get an additional 500 people into the Territory, to support some of those skill shortages that we have. When our meeting occurred on the 7th of September we said ‘well why don’t we try our first venture overseas to Greece’ – to Kalmynos – to start talking to local council over there to start forming a greater partnership to get a higher degree of people coming to the Territory.”

Accordingly, there are approximately 63 skill-set shortages in the Northern Territory and this agreement will help in another 16, including opportunities in hospitality, bricklaying, hotel waiting and bar-service management, amongst others.

“We’ll be calling a meeting of local Kalymnian business men and women, and Greek business men and women, and say ‘right, we’ve started this process, let’s get together collectively to identify issues that you have, how we can support you developing your employer credentials, such as things around mentoring, how you can be a more acceptable workplace for people who have come from overseas into the Territory, and what that might mean for those people and how you can have a more supportive environment’.”

In his original press release Mr Giles stated two programs offering Northern Territory employers the opportunity to access workers from Greece – the DAMA and a Training and Research Occupational Trainee Visa.

Courtesy of Neos Kosmos

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