Leading employment services provider, Asuria (formerly PeoplePlus Australia) today welcomes the promising employment figures reported in the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Labour Force update, while simultaneously warning of a lurking threat to the continued COVID-19 economic recovery, as the pipeline of workers for certain jobs and industries threatens to dry up in the face of the extended international border closures.
With the latest Federal Budget forecasting that net overseas migration will stand at negative 96,600 for the 2020-2021 financial year, the reality is that by the end of 2022 Australia’s total population will be one million fewer than pre-COVID forecasts.
Nowhere will that shortfall be felt more sharply than in the industries and communities that have traditionally relied on a steady flow of transient workers to fill essential roles, particularly in the horticultural sector.
While the Government is already taking steps to mitigate the impact of this labour shortfall through wage incentives, financial assistance to hire people with disabilities, apprenticeships and training programs, Australia’s businesses need to act now and do more to safeguard their recovery and survival.
Con Kittos, Executive Chairman at Asuria, says: “In the coming months, the choice for many Australian businesses with be simple; stop growing because they are unable to find staff, begin offering large and costly wage increases to hold onto existing staff, or embrace a new supply of ready and willing workers right there on their doorsteps, which they might have overlooked in the past.
Sectors and industries that have traditionally benefitted from a steady influx of migrant workers now have an opportunity and an imperative to look to those Australians with the potential to power our economic recovery, including those with a disability, an Indigenous person, the long-term unemployed or mature-age workers.
At Asuria, we would urge any business in Australia identifying labour supply as a potential barrier to survival or growth in 2021 and beyond, to contact their local employment services provider to find out what Government schemes, initiatives and incentives they might be eligible to access.
While for Australian job seekers, we encourage everyone to believe in their potential and the value they have to offer to employers at this challenging time, and to consider the part they might be able to play by entering into a new line of work, career path or training program that they might not have previously considered.”