Intergenerational Report: Migrant workers essential to future economic growth – fix migration system now

MEDIA RELEASE | 24 August 2023

Today’s release of the 2023 Intergenerational Report (IGR) will forecast future economic growth will rest on migrant workers in essential caring roles in Australia. Democracy in Colour urges the Government to reform the broken migration system and protect future migrant workers from exploitation. Australia’s broken migration system must be ‘future-proofed’ in order to address economic growth and the evolving landscape of care industries.

Democracy in Colour National Director, Neha Madhok says:

“The Intergenerational Report so far indicates that healthcare, aged care and disability care will play a major role in driving economic growth. The workforce in these industries is predominantly made up of migrant workers.

“Australia’s workforce must be future-proofed if we are expecting major job demands within the care sector. The Albanese Government must ensure migrant workers have access to better and clearer pathways to permanency in our country, particularly as we rely on their labour.

“Migrants and temporary visa holders are the backbone of our economy, many of whom are doing essential work in the healthcare sector. Australia reaped all the economic benefits from their work in essential services during the pandemic and the Intergenerational Report shows that our future economic growth relies on migrant workers.

“From what we know about the Report so far proves that cutting back migration numbers will hurt our future economic growth. It’s clear we need increased migration to meet the growing demand for workers in aged care, as people live longer.

“The current migration system is broken, and it exploits essential workers and treats them as second-class citizens because of their visa status. In order to make Australia a country that migrants want to work in, we need to fix the baked in inequity in our migration system.

“We have thousands of temporary visa holders living in limbo and inadequate protection mechanisms that do little to stop worker exploitation. What we need instead is long term stability for migrants so that we can continue to see people take up these vital jobs that will help economic growth.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Neha Madhok 0452 509 873

The Migration with Dignity campaign calls for clearer pathways to permanent migration, ending corporate ties to temporary migration sponsorship and allowing working migrants access to public services including Medicare.

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