How changes to Visas will help Australia’s Skills Gap

Large dump truck driving on a dirt road, illustrating transportation in industrial and mining operations

Australia’s skilled labour shortage, and possible solutions.

You may have heard that Australia is experiencing a national skills crisis, but what many don’t want to acknowledge is that there may be a simple solution to the problem.

We’ve all heard the tired argument that migrants are taking our jobs (which has been disproven time and time again), but the conversation is now shifting. More people are acknowledging that migrants may be the solution to Australia’s skills shortage.

In fact, some are saying there is no shortage at all when you factor in all of the experienced, yet unemployed migrants in Australia.

There are, sadly, hundreds of thousands of skilled migrants out of work in Australia. This data shows that there were an estimated 1.9 million migrants in Australia in 2019, and yet only 68% were employed. That leaves over 600,000 migrants in Australia that are out of work and instead of being able to work in their chosen field, are taking any jobs that they can find (food delivery, uber etc.) because they are being overlooked by Australian employers in their chosen fields.

These migrant workers are often significantly more qualified for the available positions than the state average, but despite this fact, the unemployment rate amongst this group is almost double the country’s average.

Generally, when there are shortages in certain industries, the pay wage in that sector skyrockets in an attempt to draw in applicants to bridge the gap.Whereas currently, the opposite is happening. For the past decade wages growth in this sector has been the slowest on record.

So if skilled labour is in such short supply, why aren’t the industry wages being raised by desperate employers trying to find the workers they need?

Food for thought!

What is being done to help migrant workers get and maintain work in Australia?

The Morrison government has decided to extend certain types of work visas in an attempt to make it easier for skilled migrants to remain in Australia and to continue working in critical sectors (including labour skills).

Minister Hawke has stated that “The changes complement the Government’s recent announcement that fully vaccinated eligible temporary and provisional visa holders may enter Australia without a travel exemption from 1 December 2021,”. He also added that
“This is a special concession recognising those highly skilled migrant workers who chose to stay in Australia throughout the pandemic, while continuing to address Australia’s acute shortages. This allows them to stay here, with a pathway to Australian citizenship,”.  

How does this help the skills shortage?

As we mentioned above, there are hundreds of thousands of skilled workers in Australia, willing and ready to help. Extending their visas and allowing them to stay in Australia longer means there are more opportunities for them to fill the gap and help relieve the pressure in their industries. 

What can you do?

If you are an Australian employer in an industry experiencing a skilled labour shortage, the best thing you can do to rectify the situation and keep your company afloat is to not overlook migrant workers who apply for open positions. If they are qualified, have the required level of experience and have good references, give them a go! 

What Trade Skills Australia do to help lessen the impact of the skills shortage?

We help migrants who are qualified in other countries gain their Australian qualifications through RPL to make the process of finding work easier. We offer qualifications for a wide range of in demand trades including:

  • Boilermaking
  • Welding
  • Industrial Painting
  • Fitting
  • Machining
  • And several more! You can find a full list of the qualifications we offer here.

In addition to the qualifications we offer, we have also developed a network of global relations to ensure that we always have the answer, no matter the circumstances. We are the only company like us that we know of who have spent as much time and energy building these relationships and ensuring that we can help as many people as possible.

You can find a more in depth list of the most in demand skills in Australia here.


Although we are experiencing a skills shortage in Australia, there are plenty of migrant workers who have the skills, knowledge and know how to change this, employers just need to open their minds and give them a chance.

If you are a migrant worker who is internationally qualified and looking to get certified to Australian standards via RPL, we can help! Simply head to the contact us page and reach out! We’d love to help.

If you aren’t sure what RPL is, or would like some more information on how it works, you can read more here:  https://tradeskillsaustralia.com.au/recognition-of-prior-learning/

* You can find more information from the Morrison Gov here
** For more information on the skills crisis, click here

Is it time to get the job you want with the qualification you need? Contact us and find out how we can help you today!