Jobs and Skills Summit changes immigration
Australia’s Jobs and Skills Summit, which was held on 1-2 September, was more than the talkfest that some politicians claimed it would be it has led to changes in many areas including in immigration.
As part of a document released after the summit by the Federal Government titled Jobs + Skills Summit Outcomes these are areas of Australia’s migration system that will be actioned either immediately or require further work to address.
Immediately the Government will:
· Increase the permanent Migration Program planning level to 195,000 in 2022-23 to help ease widespread, critical skills shortages
· Provide $36.1 million in additional funding to accelerate visa processing and resolve the visa backlog
· Increase the duration of post study work rights by allowing two additional years of stay for recent graduates with select degrees in areas of verified skills shortages to strengthen the pipeline of skilled labour in Australia, informed by advice from a working group
· Extend the relaxation of work restrictions for student and training visa holders until 30 June 2023 to help ease skills and labour shortages
· Widen the remit of the National Housing Infrastructure Facility, making up to $575 million available to invest in social and affordable housing. The funding can be used
to partner with other tiers of government and social housing providers, and to attract private capital including from superannuation funds.
Further work will be conducted with a review of the purpose, structure, and objectives of Australia’s migration system to ensure it meets the challenges of the coming decade.
The Government says it will progress work to:
• Assess the effectiveness of the skilled migration occupation lists
• Expand pathways to permanent residency for temporary skilled sponsored workers
• Raise the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) following broad engagement on equitably setting the threshold and pathway for adjustment
• Reform the current labour market testing process following consultation with unions and business
• Bring forward a package of reforms to address migration worker exploitation during 2023
• Examine the potential for industry sponsorship of skilled migrants
• Embed a role for Jobs and Skills Australia’s analysis of skill shortages in setting priorities of the skilled migration program
• Consider policies to address regional labour shortages and how to improve small business access to skilled migration.