CEDA report claims immigration not a threat to Australian workforce

A new report by the Committee of Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) has found that migration is not a threat to wages or jobs of local workers.

CEDA’s report, Effects of temporary migration, examined the impact of immigration and recent trends in temporary migration including temporary skilled migration. It found that Temporary skilled migrants have in fact pushed up wages and made for a more productive, prosperous Australia.

“Our research has found that key concerns around temporary skilled migration, such as impacts on local workers as a result of visas such as the 482 and its predecessor the 457, are unfounded,” explained CEDA CEO, Melinda Cilento. ““The average base salary for a skilled temporary visa holder is quite high at AUS$95,000, meaning these workers are unlikely to undercut local employment terms and conditions. “In addition, they are a small group, with temporary skilled migrants of working age accounting for less than one per cent of Australia’s labour force.”

Ms Cilento said while CEDA’s research confirms the positive impact of temporary skilled migration, it was important to ensure that the broader community had confidence in the system and that the training levies paid by businesses recruiting skilled migrants were being effectively used to build in demand skills locally.

“CEDA’s report recommends changes to improve transparency and efficiency in the temporary skilled migration system to deliver the dual benefits of improving community confidence in the system and ensuring business can access the skills they need,” she said. “Skilled migration supports business investment and productivity which are vital for keeping our economy strong. “Incomes in Australia have been stagnant and lifting productivity can help lift incomes across the community,” Cilento added.

Some of the improvements the CEDA report recommends making, include:

– Establishing an independent committee to undertake analysis and consultation on the formulation of skilled occupation lists, mirroring the model used in the UK.

– Tasking the Productivity Commission with a review of the temporary skilled visa program on a regular cycle every three or five years.

– Moving the point of levy collection to the visa approval stage rather than visa nomination.

Article published 16th July 2019