Post-study work rights shake-up to address skill shortages
22 Feb 2023|
An extension of post-study work rights and an easing of pre-pandemic student visa work hours restrictions announced by the federal government yesterday will help address continuing dire labour pressures hamstringing Australian industry.
“Keeping existing international graduates in Australia for longer will mean an immediate boost to available labour for critical jobs in key sectors,” ACCI chief executive Andrew McKellar said.
In October, ACCI alongside state and territory chambers of commerce wrote to Education Minister Jason Clare, advocating for the immediate extension of visa conditions for international graduates to support businesses in accessing the workers they need.
“Extending post-study work rights will also be an important lift to Australia’s competitiveness as the destination of choice for international students,” Mr McKellar added.
“Currently, only 16 per cent of international students stay in Australia after the completion of their studies. Expanding post-study work rights will mean international students who have graduated can stay longer and use their skills here rather than returning overseas immediately.”
The government has also moved to increase the number of hours international students can work, which was temporarily unrestricted during the pandemic. International students will now be permitted to work 48 hours a fortnight, up from 40 hours.
“A modest increase in the cap will help ensure international students obtain the skills and training they need, and assist with filling vacancies for those businesses struggling to find staff.”
ACCI looks forward to its continued engagement with government on migration reform through the current comprehensive review of Australia’s migration system.