Australia wants to ramp up migration to fill job gaps with the federal government flagging that it wants to begin bringing in foreign workers to fill job vacancies, particularly in regional areas, with a parliamentary committee recommending it reserve space on flights for skilled migrants and loosen hiring rules.
Unemployment in Australia is falling at an unexpectedly quick rate, dropping to 5.8% in February. The progress appears well ahead of the Australian Treasury departments forecast that had pointed to a 6% jobless rate by Christmas.
However, while boasting that there were more jobs now than there were in March 2020, the Prime Minister said there were still large gaps in the labour force, including 50,000 jobs that can’t be filled in regional areas.
“We have seen that there are jobs, even when high rates of unemployment were in place during the pandemic, that Australians have not gone and done,” Scott Morrison told media on Thursday.
“That is a challenge which is holding the rest of the economy back and so it is not only impacting on those producers directly, but it is impacting on the broader working of the economy and is holding back job creation for Australians in so many other parts of the economy.”
Australia Political Parties divided over post-pandemic migration
Coalition members of the parliamentary committee on migration handed down an interim report on Thursday, recommending “the Government reserve places on flights and in quarantine for skilled migrants” and that businesses no longer be required to advertise jobs locally before they can hire a foreign worker. Small business meanwhile shouldn’t have to meet any of the requirements known as labour market testing, according to the group.
Highlighting the stark divide, the Australian Opposition party issued a dissenting report slamming the report as “simply outrageous – ill-conceived and appallingly timed”.
“Astoundingly, while millions of Australians are searching for work, the priority for Government members is to put Australians at the back of the queue,” they wrote, arguing that the changes would encourage businesses to bring in foreign workers “virtually cost-free” rather than train locals.
Ultimately, what may not be fabulous for Australian Locals, is promising news for people looking to move to Australia. Frankly speaking, many born-and-bred Australians in their early 20’s have no desire to live in regional areas for a few years and these are the areas being flagged as needing an injection of resources to fill a significant gap in the job market.
Fingers crossed this thought process gets a little momentum and we start to see migration numbers returning back to more promising levels.
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