JOBS — SKILLED
1162. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the Minister for Education and
I refer to the commonwealth
Department of Jobs and Small Business ''Historical list of skill
shortages in Australia'' report, which states that none of the top four
occupations listed—namely, accountants, software engineers, registered
nurses and developer programmers—has been in shortage over the four
years to 2017.
(1) Why are the
above occupations listed on the graduate occupation list, with eligibility for
permanent migration, if there is no skill shortage?
(2) Does the
government concede there is no evidence of widespread skill shortage in WA,
based on weakness in wages growth, as released this month by the Australian
Bureau of Statistics?
(3) Does the
government now concede that its skilled visa program is a giant fraud and is
actually about lowering labour costs for employers by crushing wages and
feeding the growth lobby more consumers?
It is a good thing there is no
pejorative language in that question! I thank the honourable member for some
notice of the question.
(1) The purpose
of the graduate stream of the state-nominated migration program is to support
the growth of the international education sector in Western Australia by
providing a small number of the best and brightest international university
graduates with a pathway to skilled migration under the existing state-nominated
migration program. The graduate occupation list does not indicate occupations
for which there is a shortage of Western Australian workers, but rather
provides a range of occupations to attract the best and the brightest to Western
Australia. This supports the McGowan government's plan to create a more
vibrant and diversified economy with a broader range of industries and jobs.
(2) According to
the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the wage price index for Western Australia
increased by 1.6 per cent in the year to September 2018, which is lower than
the national wages growth rate. This is an aggregate measure of wages growth
for the whole of Western Australia and there may be pockets of market-driven
wages growth for certain occupations or specialisations.
(3) No. The
program is capped, which will minimise any impact on the employment or wages of