An initiative to encourage migrants to move to South Australia could include easier immigration and fast tracking citizenship.
According to the findings of the new South Australia Centre for Economic Studies this Australian territory will only prosper if it manages to attract overseas migrants to curb the effects of its’ small and aging population. One of the Centre’s suggestions, to facilitate this process, is to offer an easier path to citizenship and opening up job visas for more occupations.
The SACES report made 14 recommendations to create a regionally focused migration program that could help drive growth in regional towns and reduce pressure on Australia’s big cities.
The report found that the Australian government’s stricter visa conditions may have been put in place to address infrastructure problems in Sydney and Melbourne. The same conditions are also making it unnecessarily difficult for migrants to fill vacant positions in South Australia thereby negatively impacting on population growth and the local economy.
“In many cases the announced (visa) changes exacerbate the existing situation of South Australian employers (particularly in regional areas) not always being able to access employees with the skills they require,” the report found.
Migration Solutions chief executive Mark Glazbrook, who organised funding for the research, said it was obvious the current structure of the migration program did not support SA businesses.
“Unmet demand for workers, regional depopulation and our ageing population would benefit greatly from the introduction of a new migration program which is based on genuine demand,” he said.
“For too long there has been a widespread misunderstanding that migration takes jobs, However this research shows that under the right settings, rules and regulations that migration can stimulate economic growth and prosperity.”
• The creation of a new Temporary Regional Visa which has a broader occupation list including jobs with lower skill levels, allows more pathways to permanent residence and exempt regional businesses from paying the new training levy
• To increase migration caps specifically for this region rather
• The creation of a region specific occupations in the skill lists
• Attracting applicants in the Business Innovation and Investment visa streams
• Fast pacing processing work visas.