Skills Shortage, Immigration, International Education and Politics
Recruiters warn of skills shortage if migration is slowed. THE stance of both major parties in the election raises concerns that cutting skilled migration could jeopardise projects, recruiters warn. Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s comments about “hurtling” towards a big Australia have sparked heated debate on population and immigration policy. Opposition leader Tony Abbott has vowed to cap annual migration at 170,000 people if elected. But the IT recruitment sector is predicting the need for a larger intake of foreign technology workers.
Is Abbott’s immigration target a threat to students? Tony Abbott’s strategic embrace of a net overseas migration target may have prompted front-page splashes such as the odious “Shut the Door”, but the real-world consequences are likely to linger much longer for groups such as international students targeted by the push, demographers say….
….Jones said the Abbott announcement was more to do with politics than considered policy: “It allows Abbott to reinforce his message that ‘we’re in control’ and that only the Liberal Party can control immigration. It steps away from the requirements, it’s all about the politics.”
Migration cuts ‘hurt education sector’. Cuts to Australia’s migration rate and stricter visa regulations could seriously damage the international education industry, a sector spokesman says. The Federal Government recently tightened access to the 457 skilled migration visas, denying overseas students the automatic right to permanent residency. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott also wants to slash net migration to 170,000 people a year if the coalition wins the next election. They are moves International Education Association of Australia president Stephen Connelly says could hurt one of the nation’s largest export industries. “By the end of next year we anticipate at least 100,000 fewer students will be in the country,” he said today….
….Senator Xenophon argued that traffic congestion, limited housing and inadequate services were not the fault of migrants, but poor state and federal government planning. “These policies are about trying to cover up for a lack of infrastructure spending that has lead to a drop in quality of life in some parts of Australia,” he said. “We shouldn’t be blaming the migrants, we should be blaming the hopeless ministers for planning, the tight treasurers and the ineffectual premiers.”