Reforming Australia's Migration System
Skilled migrants — including cooks and chefs — play a critical role in addressing workforce shortages and strengthening diversity in the club sector. However, many clubs can attest that the current migration system requires structural reform.
Clubs across Australia are experiencing a shortage of local skilled workers, with vacancies frequently prolonged due to the difficulties associated with employing migrant worker, such as prohibitive visa requirements and inefficient processes.
The Federal Government recently published the Review of the Migration System Final Report and announced it was accepting some of the proposed reforms in the Report, which include:
- Giving all Temporary Skill Shortages (TSS) visa holders a pathway to permanent residency through the Commonwealth’s existing capped migration program by the end of the year
- Requiring employers to pay new temporary skilled migrant workers a minimum of $70,000 instead of $53,000 per annum, from 1 July 2023.
This increase will cause difficulties for businesses employing TSS visa holders, particularly in regional and rural areas where wages may be lower.
ClubsNSW through Clubs Australia recently appeared before a Parliamentary Inquiry and provided a written submission to the Federal Government on the challenges clubs are experiencing with recruiting skilled migrant workers. Clubs Australia recommended:
- Removing labour market testing
- Lowering the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) in line with market wages or providing additional support to regional and rural clubs
- Removing the Skilling Australians Fund levy in some circumstances
- Enabling international students to work more than 48 hours per fortnight.
ClubsNSW will continue to engage with the Government to ensure the migration system supports clubs to fill labour and skills shortages.