The Australian government is under pressure to increase their skilled migration target figures.
06 May 2011
Resources boom pressures Australian government to increase skilled migration
Despite Prime Minister Julia Gillard's pre-election comments that she did not believe in a "big Australia", pressure has now been put on the Australian government to increase their skilled migration target figures due to a boom in the resources industry.
The need for skilled Australia immigration has been voiced by Business Council of Australia (BCA) CEO, Jennifer Westacott, who made the following comments: "We believe at least two-thirds of the program should be skills-based so that people who come into the country have the skills we need for a stronger, increasingly diverse economy."
Ms Westacott has also asked the government to "make greater use of temporary migration visas, including the 457 visa program, and the proposed new enterprise migration program for large investment projects.”
The BCA has called for a target net migration figure at least 180,000 a year, though the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) held the permanent immigration target at 168,700 last year and have indicated in pre-election briefs that they will continue to keep it at no more than 170,000.
Australian immigration was at its peak in 2008, which saw a net migration of 315,000. However, high levels of migration have been criticised by conservative pundits, with Prime Minister Gillard saying "I don't believe in a big Australia" in her first television interview as Prime Minister.