It seems the Australian immigration system will soon face a major overhaul to tackle the issue of short and long-term skills shortages.
However, the government has been asked to refrain from abandoning local workers while parliamentarians figure out a way to utilize migration to secure Australia’s economy.
Moreover, the National Farmers Federation has proposed to make access to workers more convenient to deal with labour shortages.
According to the federation, recruiting and retaining workers is a challenging task for the sector because of the seasonal nature of different jobs. Plus, they also have to deal with other issues, such as long work hours, an ageing workforce, and employment in rural areas.
The federation believes that migration will always play a significant role in enriching the country’s workforce. Therefore, the authorities should not focus on coming up with a short-term solution.
On the other hand, the Grattan Institute recommends using the permanent skilled migration program to recruit highly skilled migrants to help strengthen the economy in the future instead of solving short-term labour shortages.
It further added that focusing on skilled migrants would solve the issue of skills shortages to a great extent, prevent exploitation, make it simple for employers to sponsor workers, and build a massive pool of applicants with great potential for permanent visas.
On the other hand, trying to utilize temporary migration programs to hire less skilled overseas workers could affect the wages of low-paid Australians and lead to exploitation. Don’t forget it could also impact the public’s trust in the country’s migration program.
Next, the Association of Mining and Exploration companies has suggested expanding the migration cap while allocating more workers to the industry to prevent labour shortages in the future.
The Association claims that many companies rely on different types of visas to meet the ever-changing demands of the workforce, even if local training and employment opportunities are prioritized first.
Furthermore, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also advised raising the migration cap to fill the gaps in the labour market.
The Master Builders Association favours the idea of raising the cap but believes that lowering English language requirements and easing the eligibility criteria for post-study visas should also be considered. Plus, the Associations want the government to see if an apprentice visa pilot program would prove helpful.
In contrast, the Tech Council believes that skilled migration would contribute to the growth of the multi-billion dollar sector in which over 860,000 individuals are employed.
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