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Australian Industry Group Wants Immigration To Rise To 220,000

15 Jan 2014


Immigration News

The Federal Government of Australia is being persuaded by a business lobby group to increase Australian immigration intake by over 15 per cent.

This financial year, i.e., 2014-2015, the Australian Industry (AI) Group wants the Government to raise the immigration intake to 220,000 from 190,000, with a specific focus on skilled migrants to Australia.

Innes Willox, the Chief Executive of AI Group says that given the ageing workforce and skills shortages in Australia in industries such as construction, mining, health and engineering, this is the right time to accelerate skilled migration to Australia.

He said that the AWPA (Australian Workplace Productivity Agency) has recognized that over the next decade, there will be a need of around 2.8 million more skilled workers in Australia with quite specific skills to fill some of those gaps.

Mr. Willox added that it is necessary to find ways to fill those gaps, and without doubt, the locals can be trained. However, the quickest way to reduce the skills shortage in Australia is to import skilled migrants to Australia.

Despite the current unemployment rate of 5.8 per cent and an expected increase to well above 6 per cent by the Reserve Bank, Treasury and many other private sector forecasters, the AI Group says that in the future, there may be a need to further increase the skilled migrants to Australia from the 220,000 level.

Mr. Willox says that while there are unemployed Australians, for a number of specialist occupations, there are not enough skilled workers. To demonstrate this statement, residential construction was singled out by the AI Group as an area of acute shortages.

He says rising training and education is a good long-term solution, but a useful stop gap measure is increased skilled migration to Australia.


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