Immigration concessions will help grow our economy

“The new concessions under the immigration program announced today will help provide businesses with desperately needed skilled labour at a time the economy is clearly picking up steam,” Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group said today.

“Allowing locally trained international engineering graduates to work longer in Australia is a well targeted measure that will address an area of critical skill shortages.

“At best, domestic undergraduate engineering completions of 8,600 would not currently cover Australia’s current need for 11,000 new engineers a year and the additional support provided through the migration program today is both essential and timely.

“Continuing the concession that allows student visa holders to work in critical sectors and expanding it to more visa holders is also most welcome.

“In Ai Group’s own research, CEOs have identified the shortage of skilled labour as among the highest barriers to growth and the more the government can provide employers easier access to skilled workers from overseas the better.

“With unemployment at record levels we have a growing need to fill skills gaps in any way we can.

“While delivering the skills we need through training locally is the priority, Australia has traditionally drawn on the inflow of people from abroad to fill positions in roles that are difficult to find locally.

Whether it is nurses and other medical personnel, engineers and IT specialists, managers, tradies, or seasonal agricultural workers, permanent and temporary migrants have provided skills, personnel and mobility to our labour force,” Mr Willox said.

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