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$4bn boost: Why Australia needs higher paid migrant workers

·1-min read
City workers cross a street at sunset.
The Grattan Institute said Australia needs more young, skilled workers (Source: Getty)

Boosting the number of skilled worker visas could supercharge the Australian economy with a $4 billion boost.

The Grattan Institute has released a new report into Australia’s migration policy, suggesting a focus on increasing the number of young skilled workers, by making employ-sponsorship available for all workers provided they earn above $80,000 per year, would help to boost the economy by as much as $9 billion.

The Thinktank took a swipe at the Government saying it has taken a step in the wrong direction by shifting the composition of the permanent skilled intake towards older, less-skilled migrants.

  • Also watch: The US is also experiencing a worker shortage due to travel restrictions

“When we reopen the borders, Australia should unashamedly select permanent skilled migrants for their long-term economic potential,” Grattan said.

“Skilled migrants tend to be younger, have more skills, and earn higher incomes than the typical Australian – so they generate a fiscal dividend for Australians because they pay more in taxes than they receive in public services and benefits over their lifetimes.”

Grattan said the Government’s current policy under the Business Investment and Innovation Program (BIIP) brings fewer benefits than skilled migrants selected through other streams, “because they are older, speak little English, and earn lower incomes”.

Grattan suggests the Government should scale back the Global Talent Program and expand the number of skilled worker visas.

This comes as Australian job advertisements have reached levels not seen in more than a decade as the country confronts a nation-wide worker shortage.

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