It is hard to believe with the current workforce shortages in Australia we have a backlog of nearly one million visas to be processed. Skilled workers should be one of Australia’s top priorities.
In a welcomed announcement Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil has indicated that priority will be given to skilled applicants from offshore in the health, education and aged care sectors.
Interestingly when in opposition the Minister addressed the National Press Club in 2020 whilst in opposition stating, “We have a chance here, one that comes along maybe every 50 years, to think through a bunch of nation-shaping ideas with a blank piece of paper,”
She argued the system had undergone “a radical transformation without a public policy conversation” and was now skewed too heavily towards temporary workers.
With Australia’s population set to shrink by 0.8 per cent from 2019 to 2021, she called for long-term guarantees for higher-skilled migrants looking to make Australia their home.
“No world-class scientist is going to uproot their family and come to Australia to have to leave again in two years. It’s just completely unfeasible,” she said.
“These are the migrants that I’m speaking about as very desirable for Australia. There are very few of them coming into the country by comparison.”
Let’s hope this is the case now that she has the control of the portfolio, but it is not just about those sectors.
There are also severe shortages in the agricultural, hospitality, tourism and professional services sectors which have to be addressed to support Australia’s recovery.
There is also significant concern that as borders open up many of our young workforce will be taking the opportunity to travel overseas and many countries are making it very attractive to entice workers such as the United Kingdom.
The frightening statistic is that even if we can clear the backlog of around a million visa applicants, it will still most probably be not enough to clear the backlog.
The Minister has acknowledged the initial plan is a short-term response, but says the government intends to discuss how the migration program can be tailored to address long-term challenges at a jobs summit on 1-2 September.
She stated, “Our immigration program is a sacred nation-building exercise that we need to really think about and have a good community conversation about and design it carefully.”
Want to know more about Skilled visa options in Australia?
If you would like to learn more about the Skilled visa options in Australia that are available to you, contact our team of migration experts today. We have assisted skilled workers from overseas apply for skilled visas in Australia.
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