'We're here to steal your workers': Could you earn more in Australia?

Sunset over Fremantle from the Trade Winds Hotel, Western Australia.
Sunset over Fremantle in the state of Western Australia, where ministers are hoping to lure UK workers. Credit: Unsplash

By ITV News content producer Talia Shadwell.

The state of Western Australia has made a pitch to poach British workers - by tempting them with promises of higher salaries and lower bills.

"We are here to steal your workers by offering them a better life in one of the most beautiful places on the planet," WA government minister Paul Papalia will reportedly say in a new campaign.

The minister is set to jet across the world on a bid to lure British workers to the sunshine state.

Western Australian officials are hoping to lure employees away from the UK, where an economic outlook dogged by inflation provides a drab backdrop to a winter of strikes and a cost of living crisis.

NHS workers, teachers, and rail workers have led months of industrial action, largely focused on pay and conditions.

“Our wages are higher and our cost of living is lower," Mr Papaliais is set to say, in a new campaign focused on attracting British and Irish workers to make the move to WA.

"Our health system is world class. You will be taken care of."

Perth boasts an average of 8.8 sunshine hours a day, and 138.7 clear days annually, making it Australia's sunniest capital.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows $65,000 (£38,420) is the median wage Down Under.

By comparison, the UK median annual salary for 2022 was £32,300, according to Office for National Statistics.

Why is Western Australia trying to attract UK workers?

WA, known for its vast beaches and lucrative mining industry, is hoping to capitalise on a new trade agreement allowing for freer movement between the UK and Australia.

Brits under the age of 35 will be able to travel and work in Australia more freely under the terms of the agreement struck in 2021, in one of the UK's first post-Brexit trade deals.

Mr Papalia is reportedly leading an Australian delegation to London, Bristol, Edinburgh, and London later this month, which will be focused on finding British and Irish workers to fill shortages in the state.

WA is aiming to fill 31,000 vacancies with skilled workers including mechanics, builders, plumbers, dentists, and hospitality workers.

“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," Mr Papalia will say, as he appeals for workers to move across the world.

“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.”

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How can Brits move to Australia?

Under a new agreement struck between the UK and Australian governments, workers aged 35 and under can work in either country for up to three years.

The new visa rules mean young people will no longer have to work on a farm to be permitted to work and live on Australia.

UK citizens are also eligible to apply skilled worker visas to fill shortage gaps, which allows them to live and work in Australia if they meet the requirements of a points-based checklist.

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