CCIWA welcomes the State Government’s ongoing focus on skills and labour shortages, particularly the commitment to develop further initiatives from the business community’s input at the WA Skills Summit.
By increasing onshore positions within the State Sponsored Skilled Migration program today, the Government is seeking to attract existing visa-holders from the eastern states, supported by an advertising campaign. Any measure to improve the supply of skilled workers available in our economy is positive for WA businesses.
Today’s announcement is one of many steps that will be needed to shift the dial on this issue.
The CCIWA-CoreData National Survey released last month showed it will be difficult to fill critical gaps in WA’s workforce with East Coast workers. The eastern States have acute shortages of their own, with vacancies reported by businesses in New South Wales (63%), Queensland (57%) and Victoria (56%). Only 28% of WA businesses expect to be able to fill their vacancies from Australian workers.
To the extent that workers can be attracted from over east, the survey shows that focusing on cost of living factors should form a central part of any campaign.
However, the only way to fully and sustainably address shortages is through attracting workers from overseas. To this end, WA needs;
• a plan to safely access skilled migration from overseas;
• to create more space in our quarantine system;
• more options for safe home quarantine for vaccinated arrivals; and
• applying a risk-based approach to lockdowns, once vulnerable cohorts in Australia have been vaccinated.
CCIWA looks forward to continuing to progress these sorts of initiatives with all levels of Government.