Manufacturing News

Changes to immigration rules endorsed by industry

Heather Ridout, Chief Executive Australian Industry Group, has endorsed the Federal Government’s changes to immigration rules, saying industry now will look to the new immigration rules to better target skill needs.

“Industry will look to the changes to immigration rules announced today to better deliver the skills in genuine need in areas such as the trades, technical skills and engineering,” Ridout said on Monday, 8th February.

“Demand in many critical skills areas has not diminished and businesses are looking at the prospect of the re-emergence of acute skill shortages as the economy recovers. Putting a greater emphasis on a demand driven system that better matches the needs of business will help ease this pressure. It will also help in the longer term to address the demographic pressures of our ageing population.

“Training our own workforce is absolutely critical but of itself not sufficient to meet our skills requirements and permanent and temporary immigration programs will remain an important part of the skills solution.

“Engaging Skills Australia in the development of the Skilled Occupation List to create a targeted skills list will enable skills in need to be identified in a more flexible and timely way and with a broader workforce development approach.

“As with any major policy change of this nature there will undoubtedly be impacts on the training sector and we understand the concerns of the industry. These concerns will only be heightened because of headwinds of the global financial crisis and the higher dollar and the transition should be closely monitored. However, we strongly believe the direction of the reforms is the right one,” Ridout said.

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