Skilled migrants are crucial to the workforces of the Central West region because of “severe skill shortages”, reports the Western NSW Business Chamber.
The chamber’s regional manager Vicki Seccombe said the region needs an Australian skills migration program following the release of research showing its benefits.
She has also called for a greater effort to train more than 300,000 unemployed young Australians.
The research by the federal Treasury and Department of Home Affairs included International Monetary Fund advice that the current program would add between 0.5 and one per cent to annual average growth in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) between 2020 and 2050, and help combat a slowing economy from Australia’s ageing population.
Ms Seccombe said the chamber regarded skilled migration as “essential to our business sector” which was struggling to recruit skilled personnel.
“Across Western NSW, businesses are struggling to fill key positions, and while there can be no doubt that we need to do more to train a greater number of our young people, Australia’s skilled migration program provides essential support that has kept many businesses afloat,” she said.
Ms Seccombe said businesses and the hospitality, construction and agriculture industries in the Central West, relied heavily on skilled migrants.
“In view of severe skill shortages, we must do more to train the more than 300,000 unemployed young Australians, while at the same time maintain a strong skilled immigration program that provides support for specific sectors and our regions,” she said.