Cuts to Australia’s permanent migration program would be a major concern to business and should be a concern to all Australians, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said today.
“Employers across the country, in regional communities and our capital cities, and businesses large and small, are worried at reports that the government is considering cuts to permanent migration,” said the Chief Executive of the Australian Chamber, James Pearson.
“Recent calls to cut the migration intake need to consider the implications, when skilled and family migrants make up 98 percent of our permanent intake.
“The evidence is clear that skilled migrants, particularly employer nominated ones, deliver maximum economic and demographic benefit to all Australians.
“They are predominantly young, with high levels of educational attainment and a range of skills needed in the local workforce.
“They make an important contribution and pass on their skills to Australians.
“And by filling jobs that can’t be filled locally, they are helping local businesses to survive and thrive, and create more jobs in turn for more Australians.
Mr Pearson highlighted that the labour force participation of skilled migrants is over 95 percent.
“Reports of the direction of policy indicate the government knows the value of skilled migrants
However, the changes to the migration program made in the last two years have seen the biggest fall in numbers in this highly valuable employer-sponsored segment.
“That the total number of migrants was almost 30,000 less than the cap is reducing the benefit migration delivers to our community.
“Migration has resulted in our working-age population being proportionately younger than most Western countries – which makes us better placed to support our older Australians.
“Changes to the permanent migrant intake need to be based on sound evidence and done in close consultation with employers.
“Together with effective investment in educating and training Australians for the jobs of today and tomorrow, a well-managed strong migration program is essential to meet the many skills demands of Australia’s modern and diverse economy.”