Australia raises the permanent migration limit to 195,000 to alleviate labor shortages

Australia raises the permanent migration limit to 195,000 to alleviate labor shortages

Australia raises the permanent migration limit to 195,000 to alleviate labor shortages

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About 35,000 more people will be able to permanently migrate to Australia this year after the Albanian government announced the abolition of the 195,000-seat migration ceiling.

Interior Minister Clare O’Neil announced the decision on Friday, the second day of the Jobs and Skills Summit, promising it would involve “thousands more” engineers and nurses to alleviate the severe shortage of labor.

The Albanian government has also announced measures to reduce visa waiting times and combat the exploitation of migrant workers.

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles said the government will spend $ 36.1 million to hire 500 more employees in the Department of Home Affairs to clear a backlog of visa applications that now extends to 900,000.

Related: The rebound in migration is slowed by Australians who have fled the country since the reopening of the borders

Businesses and state premieres welcomed the measures. Opposition leader Peter Dutton agreed that “the number must be higher” but wondered if the “actual numbers” would reach the limit and impact on a tight housing market.

Earlier, the treasurer, Jim Chalmers, described the new migration ceiling as “a prudent and responsible transition to permanent migration”, promising that it would not be used as a “substitute for training”.

O’Neil said at the summit that there was almost “universal” support for the increase in the number of migrants, noting that Labor would shift “from attention to short-term migrants, towards permanence, citizenship and nation building “.

About 34,000 seats on the 195,000 limit for the 2022-23 financial year will be in the regions, an increase of 9,000, O’Neil said.

“To our state and territory premieres – we are building a big increase in state and territorial allocations – from 11,000 last year to 31,000.”

O’Neil is committed to international graduate students to stay and “work in Australia longer”.

He also said the decision to lift restrictions on temporary workers residing in Australia, a Covid measure, will be extended in June 2023. “We need it to continue while the skills crisis is so acute, but we also need it to end.” .

Businesses welcomed the increase in the migration ceiling, which Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Andrew McKellar described as a “significant step forward” and a “very good decision”.

Giles agreed with requests to increase the minimum wage for temporary skilled migration, but did not name a new threshold.

McKellar acknowledged that the minimum threshold – currently $ 53,000 due to a freeze since 2013 – should be raised, but rejected the unions’ request to reach the average full-time wage of $ 90,000.

Giles promised in 2023 that the government would introduce a new legislative package to tackle the exploitation of migrant workers and “further work” on employer sponsorship of visas.

He said at the summit that government measures to increase visa processing had already reduced waiting people from nearly 1 million to 900,000, while the average wait for a qualified visa had dropped from 53 days to 42 in July.

“The backlog will be cleared,” he said, announcing the further increase in the workforce being processed.

“Waiting times will continue to drop. We will address this crisis by seeking to position Australia to realize our potential as a reconciled nation that harnesses the great strength of our diversity. “

Related: Mass exodus: Australia faces the loss of 600,000 people and skills recovery will be slow, says Ceda

New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet approved the announcements, telling the summit that Australia needed to act quickly as visa waiting times in comparable destinations like Canada were “weeks”, not months.

Dutton told Gold Coast reporters “we need an increase in the number of migrants, but we’ll see what the government actually offers because this can be many, many months, if not a couple of years, in the works.”

He noted that Australians “have difficulty finding rented accommodation”, urging the government to explain where migrants would live after a “huge increase in the migration program.”

The opposition leader also urged Labor to adopt his proposal so that older people can work more without cutting their pensions.

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