RICHARD MARLES MP
SENATOR KRISTINA KENEALLY
Another day, another band-aid approach from Scott Morrison and his Government to address the skills crisis.
The Morrison Government’s plan to run an ad campaign to try and attract more backpackers and international students will do nothing to solve the long-term homegrown skills crisis facing this country.
Scott Morrison needs to come clean on exactly how many job vacancies will be filled by this latest announcement.
Yet again the Morrison Government has been slow to act when Australians are struggling.
And yet again Scott Morrison is hoping someone else will shoulder the burden to fix a problem of his own making.
Tourists and students should not be expected to act as a stopgap to fix the Morrison Government’s mismanagement, and Australian businesses and service providers should not be forced to rely on tourists and students to survive.
But because the Morrison Government has overseen nearly a decade of underspending on TAFE and skills training, we don’t have the homegrown skilled workers we need, despite two million Australians who are looking for work or looking for more work.
Worst still, despite these skill gaps and our borders closing two years ago, Scott Morrison has failed to pick up his pen and write a new migration plan for Australia that gets the balance right between permanent and temporary migration, and helps to combat the exploitative conditions temporary migrants often face in the workplace.
Migration plays an important part in filling skills shortages, but relying on an ad campaign to attract international students and backpackers to staff skills shortages is not a migration policy.
We need to train more Australians to fill the roles critically needed for Australian businesses.
Scott Morrison has left business owners scrambling to find the qualified staff they need to keep their doors open.
And for years the Morrison Government has sat idle as training numbers dwindled.
Under the Coalition’s watch across Australia there are 85,000 fewer apprentices and trainees.
Australia needs a long-term pipeline to solve this skills crisis, and it’s clear this tired old Government has run out of ideas.
WEDNESDAY, 19 JANUARY 2022