Employers in Australia have stressed so many times that the country needs a strong migration program for skilled people to overcome the perceived shortages in labor. This opinion is accepted in the federal and state levels of the Australian government. But as it is, there is no data to lend weight to their assertions.
Family members take up far too many slots in the program
It is true that Australia has a 'skilled' migration scheme
, but a 2016 report published by the Productivity Commission shows that family members of the skilled migrants take up to half of the skilled stream.
Again, the Department of Jobs and Small Business track skill shortages in the different occupations through its production of an annual time series. This tracking has revealed that skill shortages in the professional and managerial occupations were way below the all-time average and even almost bordering at the recessionary levels.
This should be of concern because, in the 2017 — 2018 skilled stream, there were 111,099 permanent visas issued to applicants, but 75 percent of these visas were awarded to managers and professional in places where there were no skill shortages.
To further worsen the issue, below are the top five occupations issued visas under this stream in 2017 — 2018:
- Accountants — 3,505
- Developer Programmer — 1,487
- Software Engineers — 3,112
- Cook — 1,257
- Registered Nurses — 1,561
The Department of Jobs and Small Business list showed that none of these professions were in shortage, four years to 2017. Software Engineers, for example, have never been in shortage in Australia in the 31 years of the running of this program.
Australia's Temporary Skill Shortage visa system
has it a bit better. Statistics from the Department of Home Affairs show that 25,620 visas out of the 34,450 primary visas awarded in 2017, were given to professionals and managers. They accounted for 74 percent of the total visas, but then, the skills recognized were in an insignificant shortage.
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