The Jobs and Skills Summit took place at Parliament House over 1-2 September, bringing together Australians, including unions, employers, civil society and governments, to address Australia’s shared economic challenges.
As a result of the consensus reached at the Summit, immediate actions will be taken to build a bigger, better trained, and more productive workforce. The Summit has also laid out priorities for further work and future action.
From an immigration perspective, the Government has agreed to a number of immediate initiatives including:
- Increasing the permanent Migration Program ceiling to 195,000 in 2022-23 to help ease widespread, critical workforce shortages
- Providing $36.1 million in additional funding to accelerate visa processing and resolve the visa backlog
- Increasing 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
- Extending the relaxation of work restrictions for student and training visa holders until 30 June 2023 to help ease skills and labour shortages
Areas identified for further work and action include:
- Assessing the effectiveness of the skilled migration occupation lists
- Expanding pathways to permanent residency for temporary skilled sponsored workers
- Raising the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT). The current $53,900 TSMIT has not increased since 2013. The amount being debated is from $60,000 to $95,000
- Reforming the current labour market testing process following consultation with unions and business
- Examining the potential for industry sponsorship of skilled migrants
Finally, it was announced that an in-depth review of the Australian migration program will take place, led by Professor Brian Schmidt, Vice Chancellor of the ANU. The parameters of the review have not yet been confirmed. It has been indicated that the government will not wait until the review is complete before making changes to the migration program, with some adjustments occurring as the review is progressing.
As a firm, we welcome these initiatives and look forward to sharing more updates as they become available.