Welcome to Migrate 2 Oz | A Premier Australian Migration Consultancy

Visit Us

Mon-Fri: 9.00-17.00

Australia’s immigration system in a “state of decay.”

08/11/2022BY Migrate 2 Oz

The minister for Australia’s immigration system recently said that the system was in a “state of decay."

Consulting firm KPMG warns that Australia’s big review of its immigration system has come too late, putting the country behind competitors such as Singapore and Canada in the race for the finest and brightest skilled employees.

On Monday, Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil appointed an expert panel to head a “gutsy" review of visa processing and other migration settings. If successful, the review could result in the elimination of skilled occupation lists and the reduction of hundreds of visa sub-categories in favour of a demand-driven system.

A new review of Australia’s immigration system will report to the government by the end of February.

While KPMG’s head of migration services, Mark Wright, is pleased with the evaluation, he notes that certain unsettling facts remain, including the fact that significant foreign rival nations are farther advanced in luring people.

At the end of February, former public service chief Martin Parkinson, University of Adelaide law professor Joanna Howe, and former Deloitte partner John Azarias will give suggestions in anticipation of potential changes in the May 2023 federal budget.

Mr. Wright indicated that if the current schedule holds, major changes to Australia’s migration policy might be delayed for at least nine months.

This is a very long period for businesses who are fighting to stay open in the face of severe labor shortages. The structure of the world’s labor force has been shaken up by the free market. Australia faces stiff competition for this shrinking talent pool, as many of our foreign rivals have exploited international border restrictions to achieve crucial structural labour changes.

The Grattan Institute and the Productivity Commission have proposed eliminating the skills list and instituting a minimum annual salary requirement of $85,000 for skilled immigrants to be eligible for permanent residency as part of the review.

Supporters of the idea argue that doing away with the skills list will reduce processing times and better detect worker shortages, which are more likely to occur in high-skill, high-paying occupations.

Andrew McKellar, CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has stated that the current system of skilled occupation listings is very complicated and does not meet the needs of businesses.

He warned that raising the pay barrier too high would make it difficult for industries like the elderly care industry to hire foreign labor to fill urgent shortages.

There has to be greater leeway in establishing benchmarks so that they may be adjusted to account for differences in industry, worker experience, and geographic region.

Anna Boucher, an associate professor at the University of Sydney, however, has stated that she does not approve of a salary floor being implemented in place of the skills list.

She said that salaries are a poor indicator of competence, and that setting a single barrier might prevent migrants from entering the low-wage care sector, which is experiencing a severe scarcity of qualified workers.

The Committee for Economic Development of Australia issued a study in June expressing concern over a shortage of 35,000 workers in the elderly care industry.

Dr. Boucher argued that a pay floor was not the right way to address talent shortages.

I don’t think the most needed person in Australia is someone who is paid a great salary.

The reasoning goes something like this: “If they’re making a lot of money here, they’ll probably keep making a lot of money here and pay more tax." “But there’s no promise of it," she cautioned.

Dr. Boucher warned that nations in Europe with a wage threshold system were experiencing severe shortages of qualified workers.

In his own words, “I believe it’s elegant, and it’s straightforward, but it doesn’t always imply it will succeed."

Dr. Boucher argued that employing a salary cutoff would provide similarly skewed results since high-paying occupations tend to be dominated by men.

Dan Tehan, immigration spokesperson for the opposition party, claimed that the study lacked focus and questioned why it took the administration six months to initiate the probe.

He said it shows that Labor should have developed a migration strategy during its nine years in opposition.

Mr. Tehan has stated that any attempt to do away with the skills list must be part of a larger, unified migration policy.