Full migration policy
Australia must have a positive and robust skilled migration program to supplement workforce development that helps Australians secure suitable jobs. The politicisation of the migration program has been disappointing and has resulted in changes to programs that restrict economic and business growth.
Skilled migration creates jobs for Australians by adding to economic growth and bringing in much-needed skills. We must continue to ensure that the migration program is not demonised for political purposes.
Australian Chamber policies for Skilled Migration include:
- Make changes to the migration program to improve its accessibility and responsiveness in order to better meet skill and labour needs. These changes should include access to all skilled occupations for employer nominated migration.
- Support the development of a set of population principles for consideration and adoption by all Australian Governments through National Federation Reform Council, so as to inform and underpin policies that impact population and migration.
- The permanent migration cap should be set according to evidence of maximum benefit, including an assessment of economic, fiscal and demographic outcomes, and after the travel bans affecting migration are lifted, recommence with a cap of 190,000 with a focus on sponsored skilled migrants that fill labour market gaps.
- Improve all aspects of the skilled migration program including the effective implementation of labour, enterprise and designated area migration agreements and the approach to permanent skilled migration, which better reflects industry demand.
- Allocate sufficient resources to address the extensive delays in processing of visa applications, including in the labour agreement stream.
- Improve education and access to information relating to rights and obligations under Australian labour laws.
- Ensure labour market information is up to date and accurate by ensuring a review of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).
- Restore public confidence in temporary work visas including the working holidaymaker, the TSS and student visas through education and effective enforcement of current regulation rather through more restrictive and costly regulation.
- Ensure visa fees and arrangements are internationally competitive given the globalisation of the labour market, and encourage the freer flow of labour, both in and out of Australia, with particular focus on improving the connections with Australia’s Asian neighbours.
- Ensure the skilled migration occupation lists for permanent and temporary migration are more responsive to industry needs and advocate for improved process, which is more flexible and responsive.
- Fund Industry Outreach Officer Initiative within the Department of Home Affairs.
- Halve the SAF Levy for temporary and permanent employer nominated visas and improve the refund process for the SAF levy, especially for unsuccessful applications.
- Remove the hypothecation of the SAF levy with VET and ensure VET is appropriately funded from consolidated revenue.