Putting an end to fortress Australia

22 November 2021

Reopening the country to skilled workers, overseas students and working holiday makers will be a massive boost to Australia’s economic recovery, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“This will be critical relief for businesses who are struggling to find workers just to keep their doors open and for those who need highly specialised skills to unlock big projects.

“You can’t employ hundreds of Australians on a construction job if you don’t have a surveyor and you can’t deliver an infrastructure pipeline without engineers.

“Our education and training system is building a strong pipeline of talent for Australia, but it can’t deliver highly skilled workers overnight.

“The government is acting to make sure skills shortages don’t hold us back.

“Business large and small have been crying out for these highly skilled workers.

“International education is responsible for creating hundreds of thousands of jobs across Australia’s economy, so getting students back and giving universities the green light to offer new enrolments is crucial.

“Importantly, this sends a signal to students who may already be considering studying elsewhere that Australia remains an attractive option.

“The return of working holiday makers will be a lifeline for hospitality, tourism and horticulture businesses around the country, including in regional areas.

“Today’s decision is good for business, good for local workers, and good for the economy.

“We look forward to working with the government to put a system in place to get critical workers and overseas students back at scale.“


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