Migration changes will help build community support

20 Apr 2017 |

Australian businesses rely on access to skilled workers from abroad to fill local shortfalls, but the success of the skilled visas program depends on community support.

In recent times that community support has been under threat, which is why we have welcomed the significant changes to skilled migration announced yesterday by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

As we explained in our media release in the wake of the Government’s announcement, these changes offer a chance to hit the reset button on temporary skilled migration.

Many businesses that use the skilled migration program will be keen to understand more about the changes. While some information is already available, the Government has committed to releasing more details in the weeks ahead.

Rest assured that throughout this transition to the new arrangement, we will be working closely with the Government to ensure the implementation respects the needs of the business community.

We are very conscious that not all the changes are positive for business. But our response was motivated by our overriding concern at the lack of community confidence in the 457 visa program, which meant we recognised that change was inevitable.

I am pleased that our members this morning were able to hear directly from the Prime Minister at our business breakfast in Canberra as he explained his vision for the future of migration to Australia:

“The new Temporary Skill Shortage Visa will give business incentives to employ Australian workers first and it will help train Australians to fill the skill gaps in the workforce.”

Mr Turnbull’s speech to the Australian Chamber has been widely reported in the media. The fact the Prime Minister used an Australian Chamber event to communicate with the business community demonstrates once again that we are the leading voice of Australian industry.

The inflow of skilled workers enhances opportunities for Australians: it boosts the economy, assists in training the Australian workforce and provides business with short-term access to the skills they need.

We are hopeful these changes mean the program will continue to deliver these benefits.

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