The key takeaways from the recent Jobs and Skills Summit, including the agreed migration initiatives and immediate actions, along with issues employers need to consider – including our BDO ‘Working in Australia – Employment Tax Checklist’.
The recent Jobs and Skills Summit was held in Canberra on 1-2 September 2022. The Summit brought together industry, unions, and other stakeholders to work constructively on the current challenges and opportunities facing the Australian labour market and economy.
The aim of the Summit was to agree on a number of initiatives to address the following:
- Building a bigger, better trained, and more productive workforce
- Addressing skills shortages and strengthening the migration system
- Boosting job security and wages, and creating safe, fair, and productive workplaces
- Promoting equal opportunities and reducing barriers to employment
- Maximising jobs and opportunities in our industries and communities
As a result of the consensus reach at the Summit, the Government has agreed to 36 immediate actions and laid out areas for further work, along with complementary existing commitments. This will be explored further as part of the Employment White Paper, which will soon begin accepting submissions.
The complete outcomes from the Summit are outlined in the 'Jobs and Skills Summit - Outcomes' PDF, hosted on the Australian Treasury website.
What are the agreed migration initiatives?
The agreed migration initiatives resulting the Summit included a range of immediate actions, areas of further work, and complementary existing commitments to address skills shortages and strengthen the migration system. The immediate actions include:
- Increasing the permanent Migration Program planning level to 195,000 in 2022-23 to help ease widespread, critical skills shortages
- Providing $36.1 million in additional funding to accelerate visa processing and resolve the visa backlog
- Increasing the duration of post study work rights by allowing two additional years of stay for recent graduates with select degrees in areas of verified skills shortages to strengthen the pipeline of skilled labour in Australia, informed by advice from a working group
- Extending the relaxation of work restrictions for student and training visa holders until 30 June 2023 to help ease skills and labour shortages
- Widening the remit of the National Housing Infrastructure Facility, making up to $575 million available to invest in social and affordable housing. The funding can be used to partner with other tiers of government and social housing providers, and to attract private capital including from superannuation funds.
What do employers need to consider?
As a result of these migration initiatives, we can expect to see an increase in the recruitment of foreign workers over the next several years. This will lead to additional Australian employment tax considerations for employers, along with potential Australian entitlements for in-bound employees.
Our ‘Working in Australia – Employment Tax Checklist’ sets out some of these considerations, to assist employers with planning for and complying with any resulting Australian employment tax obligations.
Our BDO Migration Services team provides end-to-end, holistic migration services, along with comprehensive, seamless support on every aspect of migration law. If you require assistance with any of these issues, please contact Maria Jockel or Rebecca Thomson.