The federal government would grant a fee reimbursement to any student or backpacker who returns to Australia in the coming months in an effort to support a variety of businesses battling workforce shortages. The charge, which is roughly $600, will be waived for international students arriving within the next eight weeks and backpackers arriving within the next 12 weeks on working holiday-maker visas. The fee rebate system is expected to cost $55 million. The move is expected to tempt the approximately 150,000 students and 23,500 backpackers who now have a visa but are not in the country.
“We want [students] to come here and be able to fill some of these key labour gaps,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.”Those who work and are skilled in healthcare, aged care, and other areas, in particular, will be extremely beneficial.” Mr Morrison also urged backpackers to come to Australia to work and vacation in order to support the country’s struggling tourism industry. He responded, “My message to them is — come on down.” “Come on down now because you wanted to come to Australia, you received your visa, and we want you to come to Australia and spend a vacation here.”
He urged individuals to move all the way across the country while joining the workforce and assisting in agriculture, hospitality, and so many other sectors of the economy that heavily rely on that labour. Thousands of employees, many of whom operate in crucial supply networks, have been forced to isolate as a result of recent workforce concerns. However, even before the Omicron breakouts, businesses were warning of severe staff shortages, owing in part to Australia’s extended border closures and the sudden decline in migrants or temporary visa holders to fill worker shortfalls.
To attract staff, several businesses have warned that prices of items may have to rise to accommodate rising costs.
Despite the pandemic, the agriculture sector in Australia has not been harmed by a lack of imported inputs. Imports of items from the oil and gas, chemicals and fertilisers, machinery and equipment, and business services industries are critical to Australia’s agriculture, forestry, and fisheries sectors.
Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)