The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has urged the government to reopen international borders for skilled migrants as businesses struggle to find suitably skilled local employees.
According to the ACCI, which is the most prominent business collective in Australia, the federal government’s rigid stance on border closures due to the coronavirus pandemic results in every one in five businesses in Australia suffering due to a lack of suitably skilled local workers.
Speaking on this issue, ACCI acting chief executive Jenny Lambert said this problem needs to be dealt with better beyond the limited quarantine caps.
This will allow more skilled workers to return to Australia in a ‘risk-managed way’ and aid the country’s economic recovery from the devastating effects of the pandemic.
According to a survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), one in five Australian businesses is currently struggling to find appropriately qualified local employees.
Moreover, every one in six businesses in Australia reported not having enough suitably skilled tradespersons, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professionals and hospitality workers available from the local workforce.
Ms Lambert also underlined the damage to the tourism industry due to the border closures, with many businesses relying on international tourism which is worth more than $60 billion to Australia every year.
At present, Australia requires all non-citizens and non-residents to acquire a travel exemption from the Australian Border Force in order to reenter the country.
Experts continue to urge the government to find a way to bring skilled workers back to Australia, with the socio-economic wellbeing of the country depending on it.