Norton Motor Group principal Marcus Norton reckons Warrnambool City Council’s bid to get a Designated Migration Agreement Area (DAMA) for the south-west is a good idea.
Mr Norton has battled for some time to fill vacancies for automotive technicians at his dealerships in Warrnambool and elsewhere in western Victoria and hopes a DAMA might improve the situation.
He has employed people from overseas several times to fill automotive technician vacancies but has found they rarely stay for longer than a few years unless there is a local community of their compatriots.
He hopes getting the south-west declared a DAMA area might attract a number of people of similar nationalities to the region, improving the chances of them forming their own community and building good connections with locals.
He said he talked to other vehicle dealers throughout Australia who had looked to overseas to fill hard-to-fill vacancies and they had similar experiences.
“Unless there is a community of their nationality, they do not hang around,” Mr Norton said.
He currently has two vacancies for automotive technicians at Warrnambool and had received a few international applications for the positions.
He also has vacancies for automotive technicians at his dealerships in Horsham and Stawell and said he was considering looking overseas to fill them.
He has previously employed automotive technicians from Korea at Warrnambool and from Vietnam at Horsham.
“But they come for two years and they go on (elsewhere),” Mr Norton said.
If there were a number of their compatriots in Melbourne, they tended to move back there, he said.