Key Western Australian businesses have called for barriers to migration to be dropped in a research report.
The report, titled ‘Race to the Top,’ was released by the Committee for Perth, which consists of key businesses and institutions in Western Australia among its members.
The report laid out several recommendations for the Western Australia state government to help address critical skills shortages.
As part of the research report, business leaders in Western Australia put forward the case for urgent change to fill skills shortages.
The report proposed that the Western Australia state government, industry bodies and large corporations should advocate for the Australian federal government to reduce visa processing times and boost skilled migration to Australia.
The report also called for the temporary removal of labour market testing requirements when unemployment falls below the “natural unemployment” rate of around 4.5 per cent.
According to the report by the Committee for Perth, these steps would allow employers to have easier and faster access to overseas workers.
This would also let local employers easily sponsor skilled migrants when there are no local members of the workforce to fill skills gaps, the report said.
Western Australia Deputy Premier Roger Cook agreed with the importance of migration for the local workforce, saying that immigration has significantly benefited Australia in the past.
He said immigration has been a core part of Australia’s growth and development and hopes there will be an increase in immigration to address the workforce shortages throughout the country.
He also said labour shortages is one of the biggest constraints on Australia’s economy at the moment and that the country needs to look beyond borders to overcome skills shortages.
In addition to easing access to skilled overseas workers, the report also urged better recognition of migrants’ skills and qualifications to better match them to jobs.
The report also urged the state government and industries to work together to present a “unified strategy and narrative on migration” to the Australian federal government for these measures to be effective.