7 Jun 2018

Businesses and Unions join forces to defend skilled migration

Businesses and union groups don’t always see eye to eye – except it seems when it comes to the importance of skilled migration and its benefits to the Australian economy. Several of Australia’s business groups and union bodies recently joined forces to release a policy document cautioning the Federal Government to maintain permanent migration levels for the economic good of Australia.

The signatories included the Australian Industry Group, representing 60,000 businesses, the Business Council of Australia, and unions ACTU and United Voice. Each group felt strongly enough about skilled migration’s benefits to the Australian community that they were compelled to join forces in an effort to respond to mounting public pressure to cut migration levels.

Public debate on immigration was highlighted in a recent poll conducted by The Australian newspaper, which showed 56% of Australians supported a reduced migration rate. The signatories believed public debate on immigration was potentially becoming xenophobic and at risk of ignoring the economic benefits of skilled migration.

The document warns of the economic and social impacts of reducing migration levels and is a display of their joint support for Australia’s current migration levels to be maintained. Innes Willox, Chief Executive of one of the signatories 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.”

Mr Willox 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.”

It is encouraging to see both business and union groups are pushing to have their voices heard and advocate on behalf of skilled migrants.

For an update on Australia’s migration rates, read our article regarding the Government’s confirmation of Australia’s permanent migration intake for 2018/19 here, which has remained unchanged at 190,000 permanent residence visas. While the figure is being treated as a ceiling rather than a target, it is worth noting Australia’s permanent migration intake is intrinsically tried to the country’s economic growth and has been forecast in the 2018 Federal Budget to add 1 per cent to GDP growth each year for the next 30 years. Despite public pressure, reducing the rate of migration will not be considered lightly.

Immigracious will keep you updated on any issues which may impact your skilled migration application. To understand if you are eligible for skilled migration, contact our registered migration agents for a free assessment on 08 6263 4406 or

Source: SBS NewsThe Australian and The Australian

Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).

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