Jobs and Skills Summit - Issues Paper - Improving migration settings to support higher productivity and wages

26 August 2022

The Business Council has identified the critical resets needed on skills and migration to lock in a stronger economy and better wages.

The summit is chance to reset our long-term migration program and manage the short-term challenge of labour force shortages across the whole economy.

We can move forward if the summit agrees on the role of well-managed skilled migration as a key driver of Australia’s prosperity and an important part of shaping the economy and our society.

We cannot reach the frontier without the knowledge and skills transfer that comes with well managed migration.

Australia needs a skilled migration scheme that protects workers and builds confidence with a clear stand against exploitative practices.

We need to move from a short-term, ad hoc system to long-term planned migration with a focus on four-year visas, pathways to permanent migration.

And, we have to get better at planning for the future, managing our population growth so we get the housing, transport and health services right.

We want to see a catch-up boost to the permanent migration program, with at least two-thirds of places for skilled workers.

It’s also crucial to build confidence in our migration system, so we support moves to provide better information for visa holders, set a high bar for the treatment of migrant workers and toughen penalties for wilful and deliberate exploitation.

In the short-term, we must urgently address the backlog of visa approvals across all categories because we simply don’t have enough people to do things.

Download the paper here. 


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