Western Australia in drive to poach UK, Irish engineers and tradespeople

Australia Day celebrations at sunset in Perth, Western Australia (Orderinchaos/CC BY-SA 4.0)
Promising sunshine, surfing, high wages, and cheaper living, the government of Western Australia will visit the UK and Ireland this month to try and recruit civil engineers and skilled tradespeople to help fill some 31,000 job vacancies in the Australian state.

“We are here to steal your workers,” said Paul Papalia, the state’s police and defence industry minister, who will lead the industry delegation.

Western Australia, with its capital, Perth, has a large pipeline of public and private sector construction work, the government said.

It said civil engineers can expect an average base salary of A$120,000, which it claimed was 181% higher than the average UK salary for the profession.

Average wages for metal fabricators, plumbers, welders, and electricians down under were similarly generous by comparison, the government said.

The recruitment drive also targets teachers, nurses, doctors, police officers, mechanics, and more.

The government added that the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement will provide a simplified route for UK citizens to work in Australia once it comes into effect this year.

From 25 February, the delegation will hold job fairs in London, Edinburgh, Bristol, and Dublin.

Minister Papalia said: “Most of Perth’s population lives a short drive from the beach, where parking is free. There are no tolls on our roads. We don’t have anything close to what would be considered a traffic jam by UK standards.

“And if you don’t want to drive, public transport is also capped. The most you’ll ever pay for a one way ticket anywhere is £2.86. That’s all it will cost you to get a train from the airport to the city centre.”

He added: “Many of our ancestors were sent from the UK to Australia as convicts. Now, it would be a crime not to make the move.”

More information is available here.

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