Foreign skilled workers continue to play an important role in the Australian economy
The ability of Australian to attract skilled workers from abroad has been a major catalyst for the economic growth that the country has experienced during the last two decades. Nowadays however some concerns exist that about the rising unemployment in the country, the softening economy and the amid calls for firms to employ Australians rather than foreigners. Nevertheless a recent survey made by the global consulting company KPMG concluded that the 457 temporary visa system is working efficiently and is serving as a buffer for the labour market from transitionary variations. In addition to that the survey suggests that the recent economic troubles that Europe and North America are experiencing presents Australia with the unique opportunity to attract skilled workers across a range of sectors and strategic occupations.
The survey also found that given a choice most Australian employers prefer to give jobs to local people and are keen to offer training. However, KPMG says that it is ‘easy to overlook that bringing in qualified overseas workers involves a valuable transfer of knowledge and experience that can help to up skill the local workforce’. According to the report as the baby boomer generation of Australia is starting to retire, the country labour reserves are being depleted. As a result of this many Australian organizations are already developing appropriate human resources strategies in order to manage the generation change that is currently occurring. This is good news as long term demographic trends will demand that we put a premium on enhancing workforce skills and productivity. Skilled migration should play an important role in that process.
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