Albanese Hints at a Shift to More “Permanent Forms” of Migration

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says Australia needs to acknowledge that there is a global labour market and that industries reliant upon temporary workers could benefit from a move to more “permanent forms.”

He made the comments at a press conference announcing a jobs and skills summit at Parliament House in September.

“One of the things that we can consider, that I’ve spoken about, is — how is (it) that for some particular professions, that have been short of supply for such a long period of time, we continue to rely on temporary migration rather than more permanent forms,” said Albanese.

A shift to more permanent forms is thought to refer to making it easier to secure a visa that would lead to permanent residency.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said a proposal to temporarily increase skilled migration visa places up to 200,000 was a reasonable way to address critical labour shortages. With nearly half a million job vacancies in the country at the moment and a historically low unemployment rate, Australia’s skills shortages are widespread.

The Labour government is currently dealing with the economic effects of the 2-year closed border and the “massive backlog” is believed to be as high as 900,000 applications. Albanese said that while temporary migration would still play its part, he indicated there may be changes in the October budget.

Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott said, “Our economy is poised for a world-beating recovery but it hinges on our ability to bring everyone to the table and find common purpose to sustainably drive new investment, productivity and stronger growth,” referring to the September summit.

The Prime Minister said the jobs summit will bring together business groups, unions, civil society and levels of government to talk about a “once-in-a-generation opportunity for how we grow back stronger from the COVID pandemic.”

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Read the most recent Skill Select Round and State Nomination Results.