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Australia looks to tempt UK nurses

The Australian government has launched a charm offensive designed to get British nurses to pursue their careers down under.

Current gaps in the labour market have forced the country to relax its immigration policy, in a bid to attract more skilled migrant workers.

And nurses, doctors and dentists are among those professionals who are most in demand.

In a bid to bridge the knowledge gap, Australia has increased its immigration targets for the group from 97,000 to 102,500 for the year.

And from September, changes will be made to the points-based immigration system to encourage English-speakers to move to the country.

A total of 120 points gets an applicant fast-tracked through the migration process, and from next month an extra five points will be awarded to anyone passing an optional standardised English language test.

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

"The changes are directed at medical professions, IT workers and those in the trades, and making it easier for them to meet the minimum eligibility requirements."

Australian Visa Bureau

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Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"I am planning to do so, i am paying off a loan and as soon as done I will be gone" - Name and address supplied

"I would be tempted to go to Australia for six months for an alternative nursing experience. I am from a tropical country and would certainly return to my own if I wanted the sea and sunshine on a daily basis" - Name and address supplied

"Yes, very much so. I have wanted to visit 'the land Down Under' for years and am very tempted to find out more especially after reading Tracy Waters' comments" - Maria Dale, Nottingham

"Of course I would! Proper professional recognition, decent pay, respect, as well as sunshine would be all too much to resist. Of course, we could always stay here and be expected to achieve higher education at our own expense, to serve an ever  demanding and critical public in thankless tasks, pay ever increasing fees to a well paid body to work for the public (however vexacious) against us, unable to afford a home of our own and treated as mere handmaidens, given a pat on the head and patronised as "angels" and paid poorly because it is vocational work usually carried out by the second wage earner. Who wouldn't want to go to Australia? On the other hand, we could always go to Poland or the Phillipines. There must be plenty of room there as they all seem to be working over here" -  Name and address supplied

"Yes. I am already in the process of moving out there. I have a job waiting for me in an area deemed remote/rural. All I am waiting for is the vsa. When I went out there on holiday, everyone I met suggested I moved out there because nurses are desperately needed, particularly in areas outside the big cities. It's an amazing country and it is a developing country. Somewhere you can grow and expand professionally and personally" - Tracy Waters, Salisbury