Still no plan for worker shortage crisis

09 Nov 2021 |

As worker shortages across the country reach crisis levels, Australian businesses are still without a timetable for the return of fully vaccinated skilled migrants, as well as international students and working holiday makers.

According to the preliminary Internet Vacancy Index released by the National Skills Commission yesterday, the problem is only set to grow with online job advertisements rising by 7.8 per cent, or approximately 18,000 vacancies, over October.  In total, more than 250,000 vacancies were recorded last month, the highest level in 13 years.

“The worker shortage is getting worse by the day,” ACCI chief executive Andrew McKellar said.

“Australian businesses of every size, across every industry, right around the country are facing tremendous pressures to fill open jobs.  The worker shortage is holding back business and is holding back the economy.

“With pent-up consumer demand and record household savings straining employers who are already facing severe labour and skill shortages, there has never been a better time for unemployed Australians to get back into the job market. However, there simply aren’t enough domestic workers to fill vacancies, so we must turn elsewhere.

“ACCI is advocating for the Federal Government to reopen our borders and resume quarantine free travel to all fully vaccinated skilled migrants, working holiday makers and international students. This will help more employers find the staff they desperately need.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have seen businesses best positioned to recover when there is a timetable for reopening.  As such, the Federal Government must provide clarity on when international borders will be reopening so that businesses can take the critical steps to fill open jobs.

“Business needs more than good intentions to bring workers into the country.   Business needs a concrete timetable for the reopening of our international borders to all fully vaccinated travellers.  With many Australians able to travel around the world, the Federal Government must move to reopen borders to all fully vaccinated arrivals as soon as possible.

“A strong skilled migration uptake is one of the key policy levers available to address workforce shortages that can’t be filled by Australians, grow our country’s workforce, and drive our post-pandemic economic recovery.

“With worker shortages reaching crisis levels, businesses need a plan and they need it now.

Jack Quail

Media Officer

P  |  0498 181 207

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