To counter labor shortages, Australia is reopening the doors of immigration

In any other context, this would be great news for the government in Canberra. According to figures released on Thursday, the national unemployment rate did not exceed 3.4% in July, a rate not seen since the end of the 1940s.

But the labor shortage caused by the “zero Covid” policy – ​​which resulted in particular in the total closure of the country’s borders for two years – is still far from being resolved. All sectors combined, more than 480,000 jobs across Australia remain vacant, twice as many as before the start of the pandemic.

As in most other countries faced with massive resignations, it is in particular the hotel and catering sector that is affected. Wage increases do not change anything, the various players in the sector engage in a real rat race to stand out, attract job candidates and retain them.

Hiring bonuses

This is the case of the Sydney Restaurant Group, which offers a hiring bonus of 5,000 dollars (3,500 euros) to any new recruit! The group, which owns about fifteen restaurants in Sydney, intends to recruit more than 150 people: cooks, chefs de partie but also “simple” waiters and dishwashers. “It is a considerable sum, but it represents less than the shortfall that would result from not being able to meet demand, from being forced to close on certain days of the week or from reducing our reception capacity for lack of of staff”, indicates the CEO of the group, Bill Drakopoulos, for whom the reputation of his establishments is also at stake. “We are a recognized brand, it is essential that we can continue to satisfy our customers, even if it has a significant financial cost. »

Better recognition of diplomas

The Labor government is fully aware of the difficulty employers have in recruiting, including in more sensitive sectors such as health. This is why it plans to raise qualified immigration quotas by 25% from next year, and to welcome up to 200,000 foreigners a year. He also intends to more easily recognize the skills and diplomas acquired outside Australia, whereas currently, they must almost systematically resume their studies from scratch once they arrive on the island continent.

A project generally supported by employers and unions, even if the latter claim that in return, more efforts be made in training and learning. A track that the Treasurer of the country, Jim Chalmers, intends to borrow, according to a document which must serve as a basis for discussion at the summit for Employment organized in early September with employers, unions and almost all political parties , with the exception of the Liberals, the main opposition party, which declined the invitation.

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