BDO Immigration expert calls for special visa for aged care sector

BDO Immigration expert calls for special visa for aged care sector

Ms Jockel, one of Australia’s leading immigration lawyers, will focus her recommendations on Australia’s ageing population, the dire workforce shortages and the growing demand for care services.

“I support CEDA’s recommendation to implement an Essential Skills Visa for aged care workers, with a pathway to permanent residency under the subclass 186 Visa Program after two years,” Ms Jockel said.

“The recently introduced Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement is not the solution. With over 1800 approved Labour Agreements, it shows that the current Skills Occupation Lists are not working,” she said.

Ms Jockel commented that the National Skills Commission report, published in 2022 by the Federal Government, reported 74,000 job vacancies in care services, with job vacancies for nurses and aged care workers doubling over the last three years.

“With Australia’s unemployment rate sitting at around 3.5 per cent for the past year, we need a concerted response from government and industry for now, and for the future economy,” Ms Jockel said.

“The care services industry is under intense pressure with workforce shortages, staff burnout, workers leaving the sector and increased quality and compliance obligations following the implementation of recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Some 42 per cent of eligible aged care homes have applied for 24/7 Registered Nurse exemptions,” she said.

“The projections in the Intergenerational Report show that the number of Australians aged 65 and over will more than double, the number aged 85 and over will more than triple, and the number of centenarians will increase sixfold over the next 40 years. Aged care will be the second largest growth expense, which will double as a percentage of GDP while the number of taxpayers will halve at the same time.

“I am calling for a simplified and better targeted migration system that will meet the workforce shortages in the aged care sector. Australia is competing with the rest of the high-income countries for migrants to help ease tight labour markets and add to economic development. We must have a system that works for both Australia and those considering migration”.


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Jotham Lian
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