Strengthening the link between migration and residence, report says

Mr Leeser said that in order for the skilled migration program to most effectively meet Australia’s needs, it needed a comprehensive workforce plan to ensure government agencies work in unison to address skills shortages.

“We also need a clear path to permanent residence for skilled migration and cut red tape to enable businesses to fill critical shortages,” Leeser said.

This would be achieved through the consolidation of skill rosters, streamlining of labor market testing and the Skilling Australia Fund, improved customer service and industry liaison officers, concessions for regions and inter-company senior management transfers.

Phil Honeywood, chief executive of the International Education Association of Australia, said the report reflects the underlying need for incentives to stimulate student demand so that Australia can compete with other destination countries for students. studies.

“As part of the COVID recovery, Australia needs to fill well-known skills gaps and the community has identified permanent residence as a way to fill the gap and attract the right candidates,” Honeywood said .

In their comments, Labor members of the committee – Maria Vamvakinou, Julian Hill, Steve Georganas and Raff Ciccone – described the report as a “missed opportunity” to rethink the skilled migration program.

“Overall, the recommendations are responsive, piecemeal administrative tinkering, lacking meaningful policy reform.

“At worst, people might view this investigation as a government-run low-rent complaints store, to make it easier for employers to bring in migrants without doing anything to increase Australian wages or our national wealth in the long run. term.”

Mr Leeser said the report reflected the reality of living in a world with closed borders.

“We have had our borders closed since March of last year. And we’ve heard time and time again from companies that it’s difficult to attract people to do jobs here without a path to permanent residency, especially for skilled occupations, ”Leeser said.

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