September 16, 2020
The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) has said “Migration must be central to Australia’s post-COVID 19 economic recovery”. According to a new paper on employment in CEDA’s Council on Economic Policy (CCEP) Economic Recovery Series, CEDA has said that the Federal Government should promote migration as a key plank of the post COVID-19 economic recovery.
The Paper brings together expert views on critical issues shaping the jobs market, including for women, the long-term unemployed and young people, and the role of wage subsidies, immigration, training and industrial relations. It calls on the Federal Government to extend the JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments to temporary migrants such as students and those on skilled work visas, as other countries have done with their own pandemic payments.
The Paper finds Australia can benefit from expected tighter restrictions on migration in other countries, by encouraging migration of highly skilled workers. As CEDA Chief Economist, Jarrod Ball says – “While many countries will try to impose permanent migration restrictions in the wake of COVID-19, Australia should resist such policies and promote migration as part of the national economic recovery. Migration has been a key driver of Australia’s economic development and will continue to be so in the decades ahead.”
The paper also urges the Federal Government to introduce an intra-company transfer visa to help multinational businesses looking to invest and expand their operations in Australia. Mr. Ball said – “Australia has been relatively successful in controlling the spread of the virus. This sets us up to be an attractive destination for the world’s best and brightest. We should use this period to improve on our skilled migration system to ensure that when the borders open up again, Australia is the destination of choice for the best and brightest.”
The paper urges state governments to do more to help international students, particularly in Victoria. As soon as it is safe to do so, Australia should restart the flow of international students into the country in carefully controlled circumstances.
The paper also warns the Federal Government of the risks threatening Australia’s economic growth and prosperity if it pursues a “gender blind” approach to the COVID-19 economic recovery.
CEDA Chief Economist Jarrod Ball and Senior Economist Gabriela D’Souza will be appearing before the Senate Select Committee on Temporary Migration on Thursday 17 September to present CEDA’s recent research on temporary migration.