Sydney Kingsford Smith airport

Expanding the skilled migration intake, offering temporary migrants a pathway to permanent residency and halving the levy employers pay to recruit foreign workers will be critical to delivering a sustainable increase to in-demand workers, the nations’ largest business network said today.

In its recent submission to the government’s review of Australia’s migration system, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has renewed its calls for comprehensive immigration reform to boost growth, create jobs and encourage innovation.

“The upcoming overhaul of skilled migration rules must deliver greater flexibility for businesses that need access to in-demand workers,” ACCI head of trade and international affairs Chris Barnes said.

“Australia has thrived because we have attracted some of the most talented people to our shores.  However, our immigration system today falls short of meeting the needs of our economy, our businesses, and our workers.

“Raising the target for permanent skilled migration intake to 200,000 places in 2023-24 and 2024-25 will be critical to address the worker shortages that cannot be filled by Australians in the short term.

Mr Barnes noted that in the global competition for workers, it was essential we make Australia attractive by offering the incentives of permanent residency.

“A pathway to permanency for all temporary skilled migrants 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.

The Chamber has also advocated for halving the levy businesses pay to bring in a foreign worker and tying proceeds to training the local workforce.

“In an ideal world, there would be enough suitably trained Australian residents. Right now, with such a crippling skills shortage, the levy is simply a tax on workers.

“Business is happy to do its share in contributing to the cost of training Australians, but we need workers now. Imposing a levy of up to $7200 on businesses will only make it harder to fill the job vacancies holding back our economy,” Mr Barnes added.

Read ACCI’s submission here.

Ashley Gardiner

Director - Media and Communications

P: 0262708020

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