Oz immigration expert hits out at mediocre policies that are threatening economy

by Ray Clancy on October 11, 2010

Lack of skilled workers threatening Oz economy

Australia needs more skilled workers for its IT sector but current migration rates are inadequate, it is claimed and the economy will suffer if the Government fails to do something about it.

Indeed proposals to cut the number of workers coming into the country will make matters worse as the IT sector contributes around 66% of Gross Domestic Product, the World Computer Congress in Brisbane was told.

One solution is to increase its temporary skilled migrant intake, said Alan Chanesman, chief executive of the immigration strategy firm Lipman James.

He warned that current migration targets are inadequate and the number of Australia subclass 457 applications has fallen by 20% because of the global financial crisis. These uncapped business visas were introduced in as a direct result of employers’ demands for personnel.

‘In the imminent future more Australians will retire than will join the workforce which will have significant implications for economic growth and the Government purse as older Australians move to retirement and labour participation rates drop markedly,’ Chanesman told the congress.

‘Immigration is an essential ingredient in the population growth and one lever the commonwealth can use to moderate or accelerate overall numbers,’ he added.

Chanesman, is recognised as one of Australia’s foremost industry authorities on economic migration policy and legislation, explained that the government must also be committed to attracting business through policies that accelerate and stimulate business development.

‘Permanent resident transition from permanent migration via the employer sponsorship directly impacts the net bottom line on our nation’s net GDP,’ he said.

Chanesman has described the current temporary skilled migration programme in Australia as being inadequate. ‘It’s easy to maintain an argument that the Australian migration programme has been poorly managed by successive governments for the past 25 years, often to the disadvantage of business in Australia. The current temporary skilled migration program is at best, mediocre,’ he said.

‘The Government needs to be mindful not to turn the 457 visa intake tap too tightly at the top as nothing will come out the bottom,’ he added.

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