The Business Council welcomes the government’s decision to keep much needed temporary and skilled workers in the country, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“As we have long called for, a pathway to permanent residency for temporary skilled visa holders is critical to attracting the best talent and helping manage Australia’s half a million worker shortfall.
“These workers are filling critical roles that enable the big projects that create jobs for Australians. Losing workers who have stuck with Australia throughout the pandemic would be an own goal, particularly while businesses are struggling to fill jobs and keep their doors open.
“This decision along with recent moves to reopen the country allows us to build the economic momentum we need to set ourselves up for the future.
“Visa extensions for skilled workers to return and stay in regional areas is a win for regions that need population growth and helps avoid damaging skills bottlenecks that could hamper our recovery.
“Supporting the arrival and extending the stay of temporary graduate visa holders is also a smart move to get our education sector back up and running.
“Now is the time to accelerate the plan and remove the remaining impediments to getting international students and critical workers back to the country at scale so we can take the handbrake of skills shortages off our economy.”