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Australia's Skilled Worker Program - Top Agenda Of 2013 Migration Conference

25 Oct 2013


Immigration News

Held at Canberra’s Rydges Lakeside Hotel on 21st & 22nd October, the top agenda of this year’s Migration Conference was the future of Australia’s Skilled Worker Program. It was organized by the Migration Institute of Australia with Scott Morrison, Immigration Minister of Australia giving the opening speech.

In the opening address of the national conference, the minister said that Australia’s immigration heritage means that it will be open to eager and skilled migrants always, including the much discussed 457 Visa which is used by many employers to hire foreign skilled workers.

Morrison vowed not to be constantly moving the goalposts and changing the rules for employers and visa holders as that only creates uncertainty. He said that uncertainty in turn discourages students, skilled workers and foreign investors from making the decision to study or work or invest in Australia. He insisted that the integrity of Australia’s immigration policies and the ability of the systems to ensure compliance are more important now than ever.

He explained that everyone has an immigrant story they connect to and if everyone can see themselves, their heritage and ancestry along those lines, it will much better help everyone to connect to each other as Australians, as migrants with a migrant history and a migrant heritage.

The new government’s policies on skilled visas and migration were outlined during the conference. Morrison said that Australia’s experience and indeed the country’s success as an immigration country over time has been based essentially on their commitment to the economic participation of immigrants at every level. He said that they have always valued the involvement of migrants in Australian economy, and under the Coalition this will continue.

The meeting and opening address’ focus point was the continued economic participation of migrants. Morrison explained that they want to bring those people to Australia who make a contribution and add value to society. He insisted that a primary reason for the success which continues to set Australia apart from other countries is that they receive migrants strongly and principally in the skilled migration program and this program will continue to be the primary driver of Australia’s immigration future.

He pointed out that the key purpose of the immigration program is economic and immigration is not a welfare policy, but and economic one. He noted that the employer sponsored permanent migration program plays a vital role in providing businesses right across the country with skilled workers filling genuine vacancies, regardless of where they are situated.

Morrison hinted about changes in the 457 visa program. He concluded that they are working through the issues and that when managed under a process, temporary skilled migration not only helps businesses and employers fill skill shortages but also creates jobs in Australia. He said that the 457 Visa Program should be managed sensitively and carefully with integrity.


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