Business group calls for more skilled immigration in Australia

A business lobby group in Australia is urging the Federal Government to boost the country’s immigration levels by up to 15% to meet current and future skill shortages.

The Australian Industry Group believes that immigration needs to be increased from 190,000 this financial year to 220,000 in 2014/2015, with a particular focus on skilled migrants.

It believes that skills such as science, maths and engineering are much needed as Australia is not currently producing enough trained and skilled people in these sectors.

In a submission to the Federal government on the size of the immigration programme to be set in the May Budget, Ai Group chief executive, Innes Willox said there are proven benefits to the economy of a strong migration programme.

‘An increase in migrant numbers supports positive growth in our population and especially in our adult workforce, which is important due to relatively low rates of natural population growth,’ he said.