A reduced number of skilled migrants to Australia during the coronavirus pandemic has created a significant skills gap in the country’s tech sector.
According to a new report by RMIT and Deloitte Access Economics, Australia is facing a $10 billion economic growth deficit and will need 156,000 new tech workers over the next four years.
The report says that at the moment, the data analysis skills of Australia’s local workforce is not at the level required by employers, and that upskilling and skilled migration can help meet employers’ needs.
Australia has a demand-driven immigration system with visas such as the Temporary Skills Shortage Visa (subclass 482) and the Employer Nomination Scheme Visa (subclass 186), which points to the fact that hiring skilled immigrants to Australia is vital to alleviating the country’s growing skills gap.
However, the outbreak of Covid-19 has brought skilled migration to a screeching halt – so much so that Australia’s net overseas migration is set to fall in the negative levels for the first time since World War II.
As a result, Australia’s skills gap has grown significantly, and experts have warned that this gap will continue to rise and hinder Australia’s economic growth over the next few years.
The report mentioned that filling the workforce gap through skilled migration to Australia could prove beneficial to the economy and provide it with the impetus needed to return to its pre-pandemic state.
One possible solution to countering Australia’s travel restrictions and filling the skills gap is hiring offshore workers until travel restrictions are lifted, which can satisfy the perpetual high demand of the tech sector and boost the country’s economy.