11 May 2009
Emigrating to Australia will help economy recover: ATN
The Australian Technology Network (ATN) is arguing that people emigrating to Australia through the international student program or as a professor or lecturer would help the Australian economy recover. While the Government recently made a 14 per cent reduction in the Australian skilled migration program, the ATN is arguing that the Australian skilled visa program needs to remain open to allow more skilled academics to emigrate to Australia.
The ATN has forewarned the Government in a briefing paper of the danger of restricting the numbers of people emigrating to Australia during the recession; according to them, when the economy begins to bounce back, not only will there be a shortfall in skilled workers coming into Australia, but the numbers of baby boomers in the academic realm will begin to retire, leaving a larger gap in the workforce that will not let growth reach its full potential.
"There is generally a two-year time lag from immigration policy change to outcome, so as a response to the global financial crisis, this policy will do little to protect the jobs of Australian citizens in the short to medium term," Vicki Thomson, executive director of the ATN group of five universities, said in a briefing paper.
"In fact, it has the potential to see the economy left wanting precisely at the time we expect to see improved economic conditions."
The Immigration Minister is being lobbied by the ATN to plump up the recruitment program for international students and make conditions easier for emigrating to Australia for foreign academics and students.
According to The Australian, more than 7,000 academics have been sourced from overseas on a permanent Australian visa or on long-term temporary Australian visas, and the ATN is adamant that the growing gap in academia will need to be plugged by the Australian skilled migration program.
"This figure will need to grow exponentially to replace the exodus of academics leaving the workforce in the next 15 years," the ATN said.
In related news, an interview with the Federal Treasurer last week revealed that the Government is likely to further reduce the Australian skilled migration program as part of the new Budget, so that fewer people are emigrating to Australia during the global recession. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Government is looking at cutting back the migration quota from 115,000 places to 108,000 – representing a total reduction of 20 per cent since January this year.
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.