A million potential employees are currently stranded in Australia due to an explosion in visa processing timeframes, which has made the severe personnel shortages that are crippling businesses and dampening economic sentiment worse.
Business owners in corporate Australia are finding it difficult to fill positions and maintain their operations as a result of two years of strict border controls and a flight of foreign students and vacation workers.
But according to immigration data, over 914,000 applications were pending for both temporary and permanent visas as of August 12. This has made it difficult to implement an apparently straightforward solution to the issue of allowing more migrants to enter.
About 370,000 of these are temporary visas in the vital categories of visitors, students, and skilled workers that are essential for the nation’s economic recovery. Additionally, it includes people who are currently in Australia and want to switch to more permanent visa status.
The lack of resources at immigration offices and the massive backlog of requests that went neglected for two years while the pandemic compelled the government to lock the borders are the main causes of the delays.
Australia is experiencing a labour shortage as global competition for qualified workers heats up, particularly in fields where the COVID-19 pandemic caused firms to lay off workers or encourage remote work.
To recruit the top people, industrialised countries like the United States, the EU, and Asia have been striving to relax immigration laws and improve job possibilities. To fill a labour shortage, New Zealand is also temporarily changing its immigration laws.
A national Jobs and Skills Summit is being held this week by the new Australian government, which is being led by Anthony Albanese the Prime Minister, to discuss the issue.
Department of Home Affairs official stated that the Government recognises the value of immigration and tourism in addressing the current labour shortfall and boosting economic activity.
The spokesman stated that they have increased activity to shorten processing times and are committed to bringing down the number of on-hand work permits to pre-COVID-19 levels.
To reduce the enormous backlog, the department has hired more than 180 extra employees in jobs related to visa processing since May. It has been able to process approximately 1.14 million applications from persons outside of Australia in the past two months.
But given that more than 600,000 people on temporary visas have left the nation since the pandemic, much more has to be done to close the significant skills gaps in the construction, hotel, and health sectors.
The government of Albania has attributed the delays to the previous administration.
A statement made by Immigration Ministry Andrew Giles in July revealed that the previous administration devalued immigration, causing the backlog of visa applications to reach almost 1,000,000 during their tenure.
The latest government statistics show: there are now more jobs available in Australia than there are job applicants. In the second quarter, wage growth accelerated at its highest rate in over eight years, and in July, the jobless rate dropped to a brand-new 48-year low.
For those who wish to travel to Australia, the wait has been agonisingly long. According to migration agents who talked to us, waiting times for different types of visas can be up to six months or longer.
Australian businesses are turning to desperate tactics to draw and keep talent when they are facing losses and, in some circumstances, shutdown.
To draw talent to sites that are far from appropriate accommodation, coal miner Whitehaven Coal (WHC.AX) announced last week that it would construct its own residential properties in isolated locations.
“I don’t see it ever easing. If anything, it’s only getting tighter “In a media briefing, Whitehaven managing head Paul Flynn discussed the skills gap.
When there are competing possibilities in cities, “we have to do something a bit different,” he said. “We have the additional element of being deemed remote by some.”