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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 August 2007, 11:27 GMT 12:27 UK
Australia targets British workers
Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge
Australia is making it easier for English speakers to migrate
British workers will find it easier to move Down Under when Australia changes its immigration policy next month.

New rules mean an extra five points will be awarded for passing a standard English language test under Australia's points-based immigration system.

Australia has raised its annual target figure for skilled workers coming in to the country - from 97,000 to 102,500.

Among the workers needed are teachers, doctors, accountants, plumbers, nurses, carpenters, dentists and IT managers.

'Lacking workers'

A total of 120 points is enough to fast-track a move to Australia under the country's immigration system, which awards points for factors such as youth, ability to speak languages, skills and experience.

The country is throwing its doors open to huge numbers of skilled and experienced British people
Chris Cook
Australian Visa Bureau

Chris Cook, a spokesman for immigration advice company Australian Visa Bureau, said: "The Australian government realises it is lacking workers in many professions it desperately needs to fill, so the country is throwing its doors open to huge numbers of skilled and experienced British people."

He added the Australian government was looking for more immigrants than ever before.

Andrew James of the Emigration Group, which helps English-speaking people move to Australia and New Zealand, told BBC News: "Australia is looking to tailor the policy to suit their needs.

"That means trying to attract people away from the obvious places, like Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, and trying to direct them to what they call the regions, which doesn't mean living in the back of nowhere."

The number of British people emigrating to Australia increased from 8,749 in 2001/2 to 23,290 in 2005/6.




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