• ACCI CEO Andrew McKellar has urged the government to raise the migrant rate
  • He said a migration rate of 200,000 would help employers hire skilled workers
  • Mr McKellar said Australia’s economy is ‘the worst it’s been in nearly 50 years’
  • 2022-2023 Migration Program planned for 160,000 migrants, 109,000 workers

The federal Government is being urged to consider allowing up to 200,000 migrants into Australia a year and removing the ‘red tape’ struggling employers face when hiring skilled overseas workers.

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) CEO Andrew McKellar asked the government to adopt the measure after describing the labour shortage in Australia’s economy as ‘the worst it’s been in nearly 50 years’ on Wednesday.

Mr McKellar said a key reason for Australian businesses continuing to struggle is because employers aren’t able to find the skilled workers they need to operate from within the resident population.

‘One of the issues we’ve been facing is with borders having been shut for the last two years, we haven’t had any inflow (of overseas workers). We have to make up for that lost time,’ Mr McKellar told

Mr McKellar is urging the Albanese Government to raise the permanent migration rate to allow for an ‘ambitious but sustainable’ 200,000 people a year to make up for the loss of skilled workers.

He said Australia’s low national unemployment rate, 3.9 per cent, meant there aren’t enough Australians to cover current job vacancies in the economy.

‘We’re in a situation where employers cannot find the jobs they need locally,’ he said.

‘In those circumstance, one of the most viable options is obviously to reduce the burden, bureaucracy, the red tape, the extra cost they’re facing to respond quickly and get people into the country.’

The Migration Program announced in the 2022-2023 Federal Budget planned for 109,000 skilled workers to move to Australia from a migration total of 160,000, meaning about 68 per cent of migrants would specifically move for work, according to the Department of Home Affairs.

If the migrant total was raised to 200,000 that same percentage would allow for 136,250 skilled workers.

The 2021-2022 Federal Budget planned for just 79,600 skilled migrant workers.


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