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An examination of key factors to attract and retain skilled and professional migrants : the case of Australian regional and very remote areas
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Mario FerrerMario Ferrer, Anita MedhekarAnita Medhekar, L Arroyo, Michael MuchiriMichael Muchiri, Ricardo SantaRicardo Santa
Attracting and retaining skilled and professional staff is a global issue requiring urgent attention (Haslam McKenzie 2008). Consequently, the attraction and retention of professionals to regional and remote areas has received considerable attention from the Australian, State and Territory governments (DOTARS 2006; LGAQ 2008; Miles, Marshall, Rolfe & Noonan 2004; SCORD 2004; Wulff & Dharmalingam 2008). Several studies further recognise that a combination of evolving global and national trends have increased skilled labour shortages (Holland, Sheehan & De Cieri 2007), net migration from regional and remote areas to metropolitan areas (Miles, Marshall, Rolfe & Noonan 2004) and the inability for regional areas to retain skilled and professional migrants (Hugo 2004; JSCM 2001; Wulff & Dharmalingam 2008). In the case of attracting and retaining skilled and professional migrants in regional areas, some studies now concede the importance of examining family and individual wellbeing factors for migrants (Haslam McKenzie 2008; Wulff & Dharmalingam 2008). Our study extends several recent studies (LGAQ 2008; Miles, Marshall, Rolfe & Noonan 2004; Wulff & Dharmalingam 2008) and will further examine some implications of skilled migration for Queensland's rural and regional areas, the community relations environment in rural and regional Queensland and the wellbeing of newly arrived skilled migrants and their families. Unique to our study is the specific focus on the wellbeing factors of skilled immigrants and their families. The multi-staged research will focus on exploring and examining the existing migrant settlement programs that enhance community health, happiness and wellbeing in the Australian Central Queensland region.