The skilled worker shortage in Australia is now apparent to every understaffed business owner and HR manager trying to fill job vacancies. Unemployment is at its lowest in Australia since 1974, so every Aussie who wants a job can get one.
TAFE is mightily underfunded as teachers struggle under increased workloads while Australia’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector stutters along with dysfunction and fragmentation despite massive funding. Leaving businesses to ponder, where are all the skilled workers (that we need) going to come from?
Is it Possible to Help Businesses, Migrants and Aussie Workers Too?
The National Secretary for the Australian Workers Union, Daniel Walton, has presented an interesting idea. Allow businesses direct access to sponsored skilled migration so long stringent market testing is used and in turn they hire young domestic workers. It is suggested that for each skilled migrant worker a business hires it should also hire an Australian apprentice or trainee.
If a business can’t hire an Aussie apprentice as well, Mr Walton suggests increasing the financial contribution to domestic training. Australia currently uses the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) to support the training of apprentices and trainees. For every skilled migrant a business uses they could contribute up to $10,000 per migrant worker (several times more than the current contribution). The Union commented they would like to see more transparency on how money from SAF is used also.
This interesting concept would mean we get the overseas workers we need now but it also helps the training and employment of young Australians in the long term. The Australian Workers Union will be presenting this idea at the upcoming Jobs Summit next month.
Unions Want Migrants to Become Union Members by Default
Another interesting idea the Australian Workers Union will be pushing for is that all new migrants become union members by default. Membership would be assigned based on what industry the migrant worker was working in. Memberships can be opted-out if the candidate is strongly opposed. The Workers Union sees membership as a great way to stop migrant worker exploitation and adversely affecting the Australian Employment sector.
It will be interesting to see how both these ideas are dealt with at the Jobs Summit at the start of September.
Are you a business in need of skilled migrant workers and don’t know how to start the process? Get the team at No Borders Law Group to help you navigate the legal issues and assist your business in getting the workers it needs.
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