Skilled migration needs overhaul: report
According to a new report, Australia’s “unnecessarily complex” skilled migration system should be revamped to ensure the country can attract the workers it needs to maintain a strong labor market.
The Deloitte Access Economics report, released Sunday, found that the Australian job market was remarkably successful during the COVID-19 pandemic, as evidenced by the unemployment rate which fell to a nearly 50-year low of 3.4. % in July.
The participation rate in the workforce is also positive, now hovering around an all-time high of 66.4%.
The report’s lead author, David Rumbens, said public spending has boosted the labor market, but warned that it is now largely up to the private sector to continue to do so.
Rumbens said border closures in the pandemic era, combined with a tight labor market, meant there were now more jobs than unemployed.
“Net migration abroad has been positive for the first time since the start of COVID,” Rumbens said.
“More than 29,000 net people arrived in the December 2021 quarter, although this only reveals about 26% of the 113,000 net people lost due to overseas migration in the previous 18 months.”
With skilled migration at a fraction of pre-pandemic levels, Deloitte partner Fiona Webb urged Australia to prove it was “open for business” by cutting red tape.
According to the report, this is taking place against the backdrop of a shift in the economy towards a more skilled, knowledge-based workforce, with an expected increase in jobs in the sector of around 2.1% or 39,300 workers per year by June. 2032.
“Along with the policy to ensure the development of the skills needed for the future in Australia, we need to focus on overhauling our unnecessarily complex skilled migration system to make sure we can also attract workers with the skills we need,” said Ms Webb. .
“The top priority is to send a clear signal to the world that Australia is open for business. Our border policies in the era of the pandemic have created a persistent level of uncertainty among potential skilled migrants.
“They want to know that they can get in and out of the country without complications and have more certainty about the long-term options for staying in Australia, which are routes to permanent residence.”
The report also urged Australia to expand its humanitarian migration program, describing the long-term benefits of doing so as “profound” to economic and social parameters.