Federal Budget 2021: What is Means for You
Do you need critical workers from overseas? Contact Alan and the team today: 02 9635 5333
Businesses are screaming for a solution to skilled worker shortages.
The Federal Budget handed down on May 11 gave little cause for celebration for businesses struggling to secure talent from abroad, with a major disappointment in the decision to delay the re-opening of the nation’s borders by another 12 months until the second half of next year.
This decision will apply further pressure to businesses screaming for a solution to skilled worker shortages now, particularly given that Australia is presently experiencing negative migration – in essence, more people are leaving than entering – which will last at least two years, according to Treasury.
The government expects a net 96,600 people to leave the country this financial year, plus another 77,400 in 2021-22. That’s roughly twice as many as anticipated last October and is a good indication of how acute this labour shortage is, and that it will only get worse in the short-term. Businesses in New South Wales will bear the brunt of this pain.
What can businesses do?
In these circumstances the government needs to entertain a more fluid definition of ‘critical worker’ so that businesses can secure the talent they need now. We expect to see a lot of client activity in this area over the next 12 to 18 months.
Should I be looking at getting workers from safe travel zones that are exempt?
Some travel exemptions exist for certain non-resident workers so that they can enter Australia and work in critical sectors of the economy. Another option is to look at New Zealanders now that the Trans-Tasman travel bubble has been put into place.
With possibly further travel bubbles to be announced, this could be an option for business seeking to fill shortages in occupations not on the government’s critical sector list.
What can prospective migrants do?
International students may be able to gradually return to Australia towards the end of 2021, subject to state and territory restrictions.
The government plans to prioritise onshore applicants, including processing visas for thousands of people trapped outside the country whose partners are already in Australia. If you are eligible to apply for a partner visa today, don’t wait, do it now. Changes to the partner visa program are due to take effect later this year. These changes could mean a longer wait and more conditions that need to be met by both the sponsor and the visa applicant.
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