Migration needed to combat dire workforce shortages

Migration needed to combat dire workforce shortages

Dire workforce shortages and an ageing population are some of the biggest economic challenges facing Australia, and measures to address these problems, specifically through migration, will need to be addressed in this week’s Federal Budget.

While many have flagged migration as a key contributor towards Australia’s housing crisis, BDO global and national immigration leader Maria Jockel says that without it, Australia’s economy would be a lot worse off.

“While some have stated that migration is adding to the housing crisis, Australia’s critical shortfall of skilled workers is also impacting the construction of homes and meeting the state and federal government housing targets,” Ms Jockel said.

“Some economists have also called for a reduction in migration because of its impact on inflation, as migration stimulates the demand for services."

“However, this is a short-term view and does not take account of the significant economic benefit that migration makes to our economy, in fact some have argued that but for migration, Australia would now be in a recession.”

Ms Jockel said there are workforce shortages impacting every industry sector.

“In December 2022, Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O'Connor, said that these shortages are the biggest challenge that Australia has faced in decades, and we will always need migration."

“Australia’s demographic challenges will only be exacerbated unless it is countered by a migration programme which contributes to our economy and ameliorates the ageing of the population."

“The Intergenerational Report has projected that over the next 40 years, the number of 65- year-olds in Australia will double, the number of 85-year-olds will triple, there will be a sixfold increase of centenarians, the tax base will halve, and the cost of health and aged care will double."

“Australia needs a migration system for now and into the future - our economic prosperity for the past 30 years has been on the back of it.”

For media enquiries:
Tate Papworth
Manager, Media
E: tate.papworth@bdo.com.au
Ph: 0433 411 189