Minister Scott Morrison Speech to the Migration Association Conference today Monday 21st October 2013

Parts of Scott Morrison’s Speech to the MIA conference today: Please see link below to read the entire speech:

“In skilled migration, I believe that Australia’s success as an immigration nation is based fundamentally on our commitment to the economic participation of migrants at all levels. Our migration programme has delivered social and economic strength, prosperity and unity; helping create a strong economy but also sustaining our strong, cohesive society.
The continued economic participation of migrants should be our main objective.
We want to bring people to Australia who add value – who have a real go and make a contribution to our society. It’s very much the principle of a fair go for those who have a go. A key reason for our success which continues to set us apart from other countries is that we receive migrants principally and strongly in our skilled migration programme. This programme will continue to be the key driver of our immigration future.
Traditionally, we have structured skilled migration around our permanent programme, made up of the points tested skilled migration stream and the demand driven employer sponsored stream. Around 68 per cent of people migrating to Australia permanently come under the Permanent Skilled Programme and it is a critical focus of ours that we keep it that way, if not even higher. That is why the Coalition is committed to ensuring the proportion of skilled migrants does not fall below two thirds of our overall programme.
Australia’s permanent employer sponsored migration programme plays a pivotal role in ensuring that businesses right across the country, regardless of where their workplace is, can find skilled workers to fill genuine vacancies – and I stress genuine vacancies – where they emerge.
A business that has had to shut its doors because it can’t source the skilled workers it needs employs no one. Employs no one at all. There is a link where this is done properly, and I stress when it is done properly, where the employment benefit for Australians from these programmes is positive. It is a net addition to Australian employment prospects when done properly.
The employer sponsored programme shows significant benefit to Australia, with migrant employment rates of 98 per cent on any given year & the best performing element of the programme by far.”

“More skilled people now arrive on a temporary visa and then having proven themselves and decided they’d like to stay in Australia, they find an employer who is willing to back them. These are exactly the productive migrants we want to encourage to stay. They have worked in our country. They have paid taxes from day one. They have improved their language skills through engagement in the workplace and in the community and off the clock and they are living and enjoying the Australian way of life they came to this country to enjoy, to experience, to be part of and to contribute to.”

“457s have been a mainstay of Australia’s skilled migration programme since their inception in 1996. The programme is flexible and responds to the economic cycle in line with employer demand. The Coalition has always approached this issue from the perspective that Australia’s migration programme is intended as a supplement, not a substitute, to the Australian workforce and there are particular challenges at the moment with changes in the resources sector and the level of peak employment that’s been experienced there and in other parts of the construction sector where people who were working in those roles are returning to their suburbs and communities around Australia and are seeking employment back in those places. Many of those jobs when they were away working somewhere else would have been taken up by others who may have accessed this programme. So that is an environment we need to be very, very conscious of and the government is sensitive to those issues out in the community as we speak. That’s why the 457 programme has to be managed carefully and sensitively with integrity.
If you run your immigration programme properly then immigration creates jobs. That is our history, that is our experience and that is our future.”

“People coming to the country temporarily initially, proving themselves and then making an application for permanent residency. This is a positive pathway that hands the control of the decision to a sovereign country and these are the aspects we will continue to pursue. That pathway from temporary to permanent if managed well has great opportunities for this country. It is probably one of the best ways to manage the integrity of the programme and to ensure that those who do get permanent residency are well suited to it, well qualified for it. They have earned it. They have demonstrated that, rather than the simple processing of applying one day offshore and then turning up some months later in Australia. My preference is the other pathway because it gives greater surety around not just the national security and integrity issues that are so relevant but also the economic and social participation issues that are vital to social and economic cohesion.”

Please Click link below if you would like to read the Ministers entire speech: