The COVID pandemic brought Australia’s migration program to a halt, with strict travel bans and temporary visa holders advised to return home.
As the country rebuilds its economy, Australian businesses are reporting a shortage of skilled workers. Politicians recognise that Australia needs skilled migrants to support economic growth, whilst protecting jobs for current Australian residents.
A shortage of skilled migrants
During the last year of COVID lockdowns, population growth in Australia reduced for the first time since WW1. With fewer skilled migrants entering the country, businesses are beginning to struggle.
Some of Australia’s employment sectors are suffering with a shortage of workers. Politicians are asking the Government to streamline the skilled migration process, advising that skilled migrants are needed to fill job vacancies and support business growth.
MP Julian Leeser reported “…that skilled migrants create Australian jobs. With over 500,000 temporary visa holders leaving Australia during the COVID pandemic, we need to bring back skilled migration, to fill essential gaps and to help create more jobs for Australians.” Read the full media release here.
Many employment sectors need skilled migrants
In a recent ABC interview, MP Julian Leeser identified massive skill shortages in:
- Veterinary sector – Domestic and major agriculture productions – 1500 vets
- Hospitality sector – Chefs and front of house managers – Up to 12, 000
- Maritime industry – Sea farers and fishing and scientific research – Around 600
It is impossible to train enough Australians to fill these jobs without a substantial time lag, hence the need for skilled migrants.
Mr Leeser recommended making it easier for businesses to attract overseas skilled workers. This includes finding ways to simplify the skilled migration process. He concluded that businesses cannot grow and employ Australians without skilled migration.
Skilled migrants are a benefit to Australia
Skilled migrants bring global expertise and transferable skills to Australia. They are vital for continued business expansion, creating more jobs for Australians and supporting economic growth.
Skilled migration will play a vital role in Australia’s post-covid economic recovery. With the new migration year approaching (1 July), we are hopeful that more pathways will open to overseas skilled workers.