Australia is overhauling its entire visa and immigration system in an all-out effort to rapidly increase its workforce.
A review will be published in February.
Since COVID-19 closed its borders, the country has struggled to find enough skilled and unskilled workers to fill jobs and drive the economy.
After Canada, Australia It has the second-highest skills shortage among the wealthiest countries in the world.
Solotel, a waterfront bar and restaurant in the basement of the Sydney Opera House, is looking for staff.
The company’s chief executive, Elliott Solomon, said there was an urgent need for chefs, waitstaff, bartenders and baristas.
“We have some fine dining restaurants, but we can’t open on certain days because we don’t have enough staff,” he said.
Salomon says wages are up 25% a year and servers average about £20 an hour.
Work incentives include a £500 sign-on bonus and half-price food and drink for employees and their friends.
Other restaurants fly foreign staff into the country and provide accommodation.
In March, British backpacker Chloe Ankers moved from Manchester to Cairns and now Sydney.
“There are jobs all over the coast, up and down,” she said.
“Salaries are amazing. Big difference compared to home country.”
Staff shortages are even more acute in rural and remote areas, as most expats prefer beaches to bushes.
Pre-COVID, 80% of seasonal farm workers were backpackers.
In Leeton, 300 miles west of Sydney, tons of oranges are left to rot because there are not enough people picking them.
Orchard owner Frank Mercury said it was “devastating” with his business losing 140,000 pounds of fruit.
Australians are not filling these jobs – the unemployment rate is the lowest in 48 years.
employee market. A National Australia Bank study found that a third of businesses would like to hire more people.
Almost half a million workers are needed in almost every industry, from hospitality and tourism to construction, technology, agriculture, mining, and even teachers and nurses.
There is also a severe shortage of merchants. Mechanics, builders, plumbers – the list goes on.
Auto repair shop owner Cameron Virtue is under pressure to expand his business. He works 70 hours a week because there are not enough technicians.
Mechanic Joel Swain has no regrets about swapping his North Yorkshire for the summer in Sydney.
He recently returned home to see family and friends, and that was the “final nail in the coffin.”
“I see people not so happy [in the UK] And more and more friends are immigrating, traveling through Asia, coming to Australia for this life,” he said.
Australia sees itself as the ‘lifestyle’ capital of the world, so it doesn’t see the need to sell the country to immigrants.
But during the pandemic, with one of the world’s most severe COVID border closures, the previous government told international students and backpackers to “go home.”
They now face very high international airfares to travel here.
So when it comes to migration, Australia has a lot of challenges and room to make up.