Ministers meet on skills shortage crisis


Skills Minister Brendan O’Connor said increased migration would not be the only way to ease labor shortages in critical industries.

As the government seeks to prioritize the processing of 60,000 skilled foreign worker visa applications, Mr O’Connor said further investment in training would also be needed in the future.

It comes as the federal minister met with his state and territory counterparts on Wednesday to discuss labor shortages.

“Are we going to solve this through immigration or investing in our labor market skills? Well, it’s not a binary choice, we have to do both,” he told reporters. journalists in Melbourne.

“But in the medium to long term, I think our biggest solution will be investing in our labor market skills to train Australian workers, but we need to complement that by making sure we unlock the visa process for migrants. qualified.”

Mr O’Connor said the government was aiming to speed up the visa process in areas where there was genuine demand for workers.

He said while healthcare was a sector that was experiencing labor shortages, similar issues were occurring across a range of industries.

“No matter where you look in the labor market, we have shortages that need to be filled and we need to find the supply of labor and skills, and therefore this job is a very important task,” did he declare.

“This requires the cooperation of all governments, businesses and unions and others.”

The comments come ahead of the government’s jobs and skills summit, which will take place in September.

The summit will bring together around 100 participants from business, trade unions and civil society.

Labor has also pledged to set up the Jobs and Skills Australia agency as part of an election pledge.

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