Skilled migration will be crucial for the economic recovery of Australia from COVID-19, said Alex Hawke, the Immigration Minister of Australia. Speaking at a live session hosted by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), the Minister said immigration will be calibrated to support the needs of Australia’s growing industries and to plug skills shortages and promote employment generation in critical sectors to assist national economic recovery.
“The government sees the migration program as integral to how Australia will recover from COVID as well and accessing the skills that we need, the shortages that we will have in our economy as it recovers, will be a high priority for the migration program in coming years,” said the Minister.
The Australian economy is heavily reliant on migration. Also, Australia maintains a healthy population growth through migration. So the borders remaining closed is all likely to affect the Australian economy negatively.
Skilled migration to Australia
In the last one decade, Australia has welcomed two million permanent migrants. A vast majority of these migrants are skilled workers. With the borders remaining closed the demand for skilled workers has gone high in Australia. So it is expected that the Australian government would respond to this demand positively and make it easier for the employers in Australia to recruit foreign skilled workers.
Speaking at the live session, Minister Hawke said the Australia government recognized the challenges caused by COVID restrictions and the impact that the missing cohorts of economic migrants, including international students, tourist and temporary visa holders, are having on the Australian economy.
“We are missing out on (our) international student cohort, we are missing our tourists, we are missing our temporary visa holders in our arrivals, and certainly, the workforce that they provide for our primary production sectors has been demonstrated to be critical, so we know that skilled migration plays an important role in our economic recovery as well and temporary migrants also contribute significantly,” said the Minister.
The Minister further made clear that Australia will make the migration policies more flexible during the post-pandemic period. According to the minister, temporary changes have been made to multiple visa criteria and requirements. More updates including changes to the government’s Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) that currently identifies 18 occupations that fill critical skills needs to ameliorate the economic constraints of the pandemic will be announced soon.
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