Australia has announced that it will raise its permanent migration cap for the first time in a decade to address labor shortages. The government has decided to accept 195,000 people in 2022-23, a 35,000 increase!
Due to the pandemic’s strict border policies, there has been a significant gap in many sectors, which the government says must be filled by “workers from countries such as China, India, and the United Kingdom – Australia’s top sources of migration.”
There are 480,000 job vacancies across the country, while Australia’s unemployment rate is at a 50-year low. So Australia is SCRAMBLING to find more skilled workers.
Hospitality, healthcare, agriculture, and skilled trade industries have been hit the hardest recently. The increase will take effect for the current financial year ending June 2023 and will bring Australia’s immigration target mainly in line with the annual cap of 190,000 that was in place between 2013 and 2019, before the pandemic.
“It makes no sense to bring people in, have them for a few years, and then bring in a new cohort to adapt to the Australian work environment,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on the sidelines of a government jobs summit in Canberra.
Meanwhile, states and territories have announced that they will relax specific visa application requirements due to a shortage of skilled workers.
Generally, employers sponsor migrants for visas to stay in the country, but state and territory authorities can also nominate skilled workers for tickets. Because of the high demand for skilled workers, some states have worked hard to secure more spots this year. Indeed, Western Australia has doubled its visa allocation after lobbying the federal government for an increase. This fiscal year, it will now offer 8,140 places.
In the recent Jobs and Skills Summit, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced an increase in the migration cap. Australia is one of the first few countries to have lifted all Covid-19 restrictions and is now welcoming visitors worldwide.
Aside from increasing the migration cap, Australia is also extending visas and relaxing work restrictions for international students to strengthen the pipeline of skilled labor and provide additional funding to resolve the visa backlog.
The global pandemic forced the land down under to close borders for nearly two years; moreover, the exit of holiday workers and international students left industries in Australia struggling to find staff to sustain operations. This increase in the cap will undoubtedly assist businesses in meeting the country’s skill shortage.
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