The South Australian government needs to increase the number of skilled immigrants settling in the state in a bid to revive its flagging economy, new research suggests.
A report carried out by the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies at Adelaide University found that due to a slow population growth rate and a rapidly ageing population, South Australia’s workforce is growing at half the national rate.
The study revealed that in about three decades to 2014, South Australia’s population grew by 350,000, almost 27 per cent, at a time when the national population grew by 55 per cent. Youth employment is also at a lower level than it was in the early 1980s, when the state faced an economic crisis due to the collapse of the State Bank.
Michael O’Neil, the executive director at the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies, believes that the state’s government needs to do more to make higher education and vocational studies cheaper for youngsters, while also increasing skilled immigration.
“We’re trying to transform the economy from old manufacturing to advanced manufacturing and renewables. These are the industries of young people and young ideas and we’re losing that population,” he said.
“We need to make it much, much cheaper for young people to be attending TAFE [and] we really need to boost migration.”
He continued: “Skilled migration is one important option for our state. While immigrants benefit from their employment in Australia, the Australian population as a whole benefits from their contribution to the economy.”
The state’s capital, Adelaide often ranks as one of the world’s most liveable cities in various lifestyle surveys, and is arguably also the country’s cheapest mainland state capital to live in.
Article by David Fuller