ACTUwary on migration push
UNIONS are concerned about a Federal Government focus on migration to tackle skill shortages in the workplace. Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney says unions remain to be convinced that increasing Australia’s skilled migration program is anything but a Band-Aid solution.
She says skilled migration, particularly Enterprise Migration Agreements, must be subjected to stringent testing in the labour market.
‘‘And must not be allowed to undermine the wages and conditions of Australian workers,’’ she says.
The ACTU welcomes new Government initiatives, however, which aim to get more Australians into work, improve skills and longterm opportunities for some of the community’s most disadvantaged people.
‘‘There is no more important investment than in Australians’ skills,’’ she says.
‘‘We support an additional $220 million to support apprentices through mentoring, to encourage a higher completion rate.
‘‘But it is disappointing there is no mention in (last month’s Federal) Budget of a review of apprentice and training wages and conditions by Fair Work Australia.’’