The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) wants the government to set an increased immigration target to address “severe” skill shortages in the post-pandemic recovery.
The business groups have urged the Australian government to nearly double the existing skilled migration program annual target. They are battling to increase skilled migration in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, pushing for the annual program to be expanded to 200,000 people.
“Better Australia” Strategy by ACCI
The ACCI released its “Better Australia” strategy outlining 10 goals aimed at improving the nation’s economic performance by 2050 featuring increased migration of foreign skilled workers as one of the top goals.
Australia would normally invite around 120,000-150,000 skilled migrants in a year. “A figure of around 200,000 skilled migrants a year is quite conceivable,” ACCI chief executive Andrew McKellar said in an interview. “This is something that will actually help promote a stronger economy and boost jobs growth overall.”
Even the federal government has seemed to acknowledge the skills shortage in Australia’s labour market. The government’s advisory body on infrastructure has suggested a foreign migration boost to address skilled labour shortfalls.
The government’s Intergenerational Report suggested net overseas migration is forecast to reach levels of 235,000 people per year by 2024-25.
Skilled Migration Program in Australia
The Australia Skilled Migration program has been heavily dependent on the Global Talent Independent Visa (GTI).
The most appealing benefit of GTI is a Permanent Residency visa. It is expected to have a processing time of a few weeks as opposed to other Skilled Migration visas which can take months to progress.
For a candidate to be granted a visa under the GTI Program, a candidate will need to be highly skilled in one of the ten target sectors:
- Agri-food and AgTech
- Health Industries
- Defence, Advanced Manufacturing and Space
- Circular Economy
- Infrastructure and Tourism
- Financial Services and FinTech
Additionally, no skills assessment, no offer of employment, no age limit has been mandated for interested foreign immigrant aspirants. Furthermore, Masters or PhD students in Australia with demonstrable talent and/or international recognition may also be eligible for this visa program.
Australia Continues to Impose Travel Restrictions on Foreigners
Even though South Australia opened nominations for Business & Skilled Immigration Programs, Australia is yet to fully open up to foreign travellers. Major cities in Australia are still in lockdown and may reopen soon.
That being said, Australian immigration is expected to see a post-pandemic boom soon. With business groups demanding to double the skilled migration intakes and the government acknowledging the skill shortage gap, we can see better career opportunities and settlement options for foreign immigrants in Australia very soon.
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Get in touch with an experienced immigration consultancy agency like CanApprove to prepare yourself for the demand surge in Australia well in advance.