AUSTRALIA: In an effort to address the nation’s severe staffing shortages, Australia is in favour of raising the income requirement for some temporary migrants, according to Skills and Training Minister Brendan O’Connor on Sunday.
Australia’s economic issues
At this week’s government jobs conference, the topic of skilled migration was discussed. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese called for concessions between businesses and unions to address the nation’s leading economic issues.
In order to assist businesses with staff shortages and reduce dependency on temporary employees, the government said on Friday that it would increase its intake of permanent migrants by 35,000 to 195,000 for this fiscal year.
A recent explosion in the nation’s visa processing timelines, which has left about a million potential employees in limbo, has made the country’s staff shortages worse.
O’Connor stated during an interview with ABC that the government will look into lifting the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold, which has been set at A53,900 since 2013.
“I think there has to be a lifting of that measure,” he said, without commenting on whether the cap should be hiked to A$65,000 in line with the centre-left Labor Party’s policy before it took the government at May’s general election.
“These are complex issues, and we need to work out how we deal with each sector,” O’Connor added.
After the COVID-19 outbreak blocked Australia’s borders for over two years and resulted in a mass departure of holiday workers and international students, staff shortages in both high-skilled and lower-paying areas like aged care have been felt.
Australia’s unemployment rate is currently at a 3.4% level, which is close to a 50-year low, and labour shortages have contributed to soaring inflation that has lowered real earnings.
Due to the country’s ageing population, which increases demand, Australia is competing with other established countries like Germany and Canada to draw in more high-skilled immigrants.