The news that the federal government will fast track skills recognition for US tradies must be a bitter pill to swallow for the 17% of young Australians who find themselves unable to find employment.
For years, the mining industry and government have claimed there is a skills shortage, particularly in civil engineering. Despite this, little has been done to upskill our workforce.
A decline in the number of apprentices has contributed to both youth unemployment and sills shortages. Instead of training and supporting young people on the path to a trade, we are instead importing overseas labour to fill the gap.
Over the long term, as the number of jobs in skilled migrants’ country of origin increase, the number of migrants will reduce. Its simple – the economy in nations such as the United States will eventually recover, giving migrants less incentive to come to Australia.
The long term solution is to make sure we encourage young people to take up a trade and to provide employers incentives for training our next generation of tradespeople.