Businesses and unions don’t always see eye to eye – but recently businesses and unions joined forces to release a policy document urging the Federal Government to maintain levels of permanent migration for the economic benefit of Australia.
The signatories included the Australian Industry Group, representing 60,000 businesses, the Business Council of Australia, and union bodies ACTU and United Voice, who were compelled to respond to pressure to cut migration levels. Public pressure on immigration was highlighted in a recent poll conducted by The Australian newspaper, which showed 56% of Australians supported a lower migration rate. The signatories believed public debate on immigration was becoming xenophobic and at risk of ignoring the economic benefits of skilled migration.
The document warns of the economic and social impacts of cutting migration levels and reflects the business-unions’ shared view that Australia’s permanent migration program is essential to Australian society and the economy. It shows their joint support to maintain migration levels stating, “This historic national compact brings together civil society, business and our union movement in shared tripartite commitment to migration as part of Australia’s future.”
The Australian Industry Group Chief Executive Innes Willox said, “Migration has helped Australia maintain our long record of uninterrupted growth and has assisted us in building our national infrastructure and skills base. It is important that we come to a consensus that migration is a key part of Australia’s future prosperity.”
He added, “The benefits of migration are felt across every sector of the Australian economy and the skills migrants bring are vital to the development of future industries.”
The ACTU recognised the need for a temporary skilled migration program on the condition that employers and visa holders were held to strict compliance regulations, and that the scheme would be restricted to genuine shortages and use ‘evidence-based’ assessments of specific occupations.
It is great to see the support of both businesses and unions for skilled migration. Since former prime minister Tony Abbott proposed that the annual intake should be reduced earlier this year, immigration cuts have been the subject of heated debate provoking coalition divisions in the Federal Government. Read our article confirming the Government’s ceiling number for Australian permanent migration numbers here.
Interstaff will keep you updated on further issues impacting skilled migration. To understand if you are eligible for skilled migration, contact our registered migration agents for a free assessment on 08 9221 3388 or [email protected]