MIGRATION REPORT HITS RIGHT NOTE FOR POST-COVID SKILLS STRATEGY
The state’s peak business organisation, Business NSW, commends the release of the Final Report into the Inquiry into Australia’s Skilled Migration Program and supports the key recommendations put forward by the Joint Standing Committee on Migration.
“Prior to the current COVID-19 lockdowns, access to skills was business’ number one issue,” said Business NSW Chief Executive Daniel Hunter.
“Right now, our priority has to be ensuring that businesses can keep trading so Australians who have lost their jobs can either get back to work or are able to find new employment,” Mr Hunter said.
“While it’s difficult to think about bringing more people into the country at the moment, Australia must make sure it keeps a long-term view in regard to skilled migration.
“Looking to the future, local training will only get us so far before we need skilled migration to once more fill the gaps and ensure our economy bounces back. “In our submission to the Inquiry, we called for more action to retain skilled migrants already in Australia, and waiving of expensive fees such as the Skilling Australia Fund levy – which now only has less than a year to run. “
It is pleasing the Inquiry supported many of our recommendations, particularly around ensuring employers don’t get double charged fees and making it easier to retain onshore skilled migrants.
“The recommendation to provide industry liaison officers to assist businesses in navigating the skilled migration program is also strongly supported,” Mr Hunter said.
“The Australian Government has already included new occupations on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) in response to the Committee’s interim report, it now needs to consider which of the recommendations will be adopted.
“Businesses look forward to welcoming skilled migrants back to Australia to fill key gaps in line with the Government’s national, four-phase COVID-19 response.
“In the meantime, we have to concentrate on getting as many people vaccinated as possible in anticipation of an easing of restrictions,” Mr Hunter said.
About Business NSW
Formerly the NSW Business Chamber, Business NSW is the peak policy and advocacy body which has been representing businesses in NSW since 1826.