Australia’s government has announced an increase in migrant intake. To address labor shortages caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, the new Labor government has considered raising the annual migration cap from its current level of 160,000 with more skilled migrants, including health care workers and IT specialists, according to Xinhua news agency
In May, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported 480,100 job vacancies, an increase of more than 100 percent from February 2020 prior to Australia closing its international border.
Trade unions and employers will be consulted on the new migrant cap during the government’s jobs and skills summit in September.
“We’ve got a big job ahead to address the skills crisis but Labor will do more to train the local workforce and crack down on the exploitation of foreign workers,” Brendan O’Connor, minister for skills and training, said on Sunday. Furthermore, he emphasized the importance of maintaining standards.
It’s important to measure people’s competencies more accurately, he told the Nine Entertainment newspapers. “We are experiencing shortages in all areas: traditional trades, advanced manufacturing, retail, tourism, the tech industry, aged care, the medical profession, doctors, nurses.”
O’Connor explained that increasing skilled migration and training local workers are not binary choices.
The increase in the migrant cap is expected to be formalised in the federal budget, which Treasurer Jim Chalmers will hand down in October.
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