In response to the government’s new migration strategy, the nation’s largest business network welcomes the much-needed steps taken to address critical workforce shortages and streamline the immigration process.

“The strategy marks a pivotal shift towards fostering sustainable growth, employment creation and innovation within Australia’s business landscape,” ACCI chief executive officer Andrew McKellar said.

“The creation of a new three-tiered temporary skills pathway will assist employers as they attempt to navigate our currently complex system. The introduction of service guarantees on visa pathways that target elite talent will help Australia attract highly skilled migrants in sectors like the resources sector, technology, and financial services. This will unleash new innovations, lure foreign investment, and build new industry.

“Business applauds proposed measures to reduce complexity in the system and ensure visa processing times are further expedited. The creation of a specialist skills pathway for jobs that pay above $135,000 with a seven-day visa processing time will allow us to compete globally for the best and brightest.

“It is however unfortunate that the specialist skills pathway excludes tradespeople from accessing this category – they will be able to come into the country only through the core skills pathway.

“Business welcomes the removal of labour market testing and overhaul of skill occupation lists, noting Jobs and Skills Australia will provide a single streamlined list to deliver the workers businesses need.

“When it is widely known that workforce shortages are at their worst in decades, requiring a business to advertise the position for at least four weeks before they can look overseas just slows the process down.

“We note the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold is to be indexed annually. We will closely monitor this to ensure that regional and rural businesses do not face added disadvantage.

“The commitment to prioritise regional visa applicants as the highest priority is welcomed but it must be balanced to ensure that the introduction of greater worker mobility does not disadvantage employers, particularly in regional and rural Australia.

“We know it can cost businesses thousands to bring in workers to assist with their labour shortages. It is vital that all government charges are moved to a monthly payment rather than upfront to assist businesses.

“The Working Holiday Maker program is vital for providing a stream of workers for our cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels and high-end resorts across Australia. We look forward to working with the government to ensure the right settings are struck to maintain this pipeline.

“The announcement of a pathway to permanency for temporary skilled migrants is something that ACCI has been calling for. It means Australia can be the destination of choice for the world’s best talent. Business isn’t the only beneficiary here. It allows migrants to come here, settle, raise families, and contribute to their local community.”

Ashley Gardiner

Director - Media and Communications

P: 0262708020

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