Australians to hold emigration seminar

In response to a surge of interest by crisis-weary Greeks eager to seek a more promising future in Australia, the Australian Department of Immigration is planning a seminar in Athens early next month that will explain the procedures and restrictions of relocation and employment to would-be emigrants.

The seminar, to be organized on October 8 and 9 at a venue that has yet to be named, is to feature government officials from Australia, according to sources, as well as visiting entrepreneurs seeking to bolster their workforce.

The development comes just a few months after Greek community leaders in the state of Victoria appealed to Australian authorities to simplify the process of relocation for would-be Greek emigrants.

Details about the procedure, which remains rather complex and costs around 4,000 Australian dollars or 2,900 euros, are on the website of Australia?s Department of Immigration.

The ministry?s website also features a list of professions for which there is high demand in Australia, including occupations ranging from doctors, dentists and social workers to sociologists, engineers, plumbers and geologists. Home care workers are also reportedly in demand as Australia?s population is rapidly aging and the birth rate dropping.

Over the last year or so, Greek community leaders have been inundated with calls from Greeks enquiring about work opportunities and relocation procedures. ?Most calls are from young people with lots of qualifications,? Costas Markos, the general secretary of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria, told Kathimerini.

Over the past few months, a large number of would-be emigrants to Australia have fallen victim to opportunists who set up a bogus office, promising residence and work permits but instead swindling thousands of euros from their unwitting customers.

The Australian police has launched an investigation into the alleged scam following a slew of complaints by Greeks and the intervention of representatives of the Greek community in Australia.