Chinese skilled laborers look beyond the seas

Updated: 2013-12-16 10:14

By Zhang Yuchen in Shandong (China Daily)

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Chinese skilled laborers look beyond the seas
A resident of Xiaoli town, Jinan, the capital of Shandong province, talks online with a relative in Australia. Many young people from the town have emigrated. [Chen Ning / for China Daily] 

Many blue-collar workers hope to emigrate, but admission policies are being tightened, reports Zhang Yuchen in Shandong.

Before he emigrated to Australia in 2005, Yin Fagang was a migrant worker in Shenzhen, a coastal city in the south of China. The quality of his work was so high that some foreign colleagues urged him to emigrate to Australia, where there were opportunities aplenty.

As a result of their prompting, Yin, who now lives in Perth in Western Australia, was one of the first of many hundreds from Xiaoli, Shandong province, to emigrate - about 1,000 skilled workers followed him to Australia between 2005 and 2007. At the time, the immigration quota was generous and authorities were relaxed about admitting people with a comparatively poor grasp of English.

Today, however, there is a labor surplus in many developing countries and a lack of workers in developed economies. That imbalance has forced politicians to tighten immigration regulations and quotas, making it harder for skilled workers to flow freely between countries.

The intense international competition for workers has resulted in countries devoting a great deal of thought to how to attract the most talented individuals, from skilled workers to wealthy investors.

In Australia, the immigration policy for 2013-14 will allow roughly 190,000 people into the country, two-thirds of them skilled workers. Meanwhile, in Canada, the policy for skilled workers has been amended and the annual quota has been reduced to a mere 5,000, with applications for each eligible occupation capped at 300. However, the immigration trend globally has become more complicated for low-end workers.

In 2012, about 13 percent of the global adult population, approximately 63 million people, was willing to up sticks and move overseas as permanent residents, according to a poll conducted by Gallup.

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