The Australian Industry Group has announced that Australia's immigration intake should be increased to combat skill shortages in several industries.
Innes Willox, chief executive of the Australian Industry Group, is reported as saying Australia's migrant intake should be increased from the current 190,000 to at least 220,000 in the 2014-15 financial year.
She also emphasised the need for the majority of such applicants to be skilled migrants including 457 visa holders "in order to meet current and future skills shortages".
Ms. Willox made these comments as part of a submission to the federal government to consider during its deliberations over the May budget.
According to Ms. Willox "An increase in migrant numbers supports positive growth in our population and especially in our adult workforce, which is important due to relatively low rates of natural population growth.."
She also mentioned that there were "persistent skill shortages" in several sectors important to the Australian economy including mining, infrastructure, engineering and health care. She also predicted that the demand for skilled tradespeople would pick up as the housing market recovered.
It's clear the federal government will need to think carefully about its approach to Australia's migration program and the flow on implications to the Australian economy.