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    Australia cuts visas for builders and manufacturing

    By Noreen Bowden | March 20, 2009

    is reacting to the global downturn by cutting its intake of migrants for the first time in ten years. The government said this week that it would reduce the number of work permits by about 14%, or  18,500.

    The government is removing bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers and electricians from the critical shortage list. Hairdressers and cooks had already been removed.  Health occupations, engineering and information technology remain on the list.

    The visa cuts will affect would-be Irish emigrants. Media reports in recent weeks have detailed problems affective Irish job-seekers in Australia.

    Australia’s unemployment rate is currently 5.2%, up from 4.8% last month.

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