How to Meet Australian Demand for Pacific Foreign Vocational Workers

Historically, Australia has lacked a coherent policy to attract immigrants with less extensive formal training and education, despite the needs of their aging population and labour market. Recent moves to develop such a policy have thrown up numerous questions, such as how many vocational workers are needed, for which the economic literature has few answers.

The Center for Global Development (CGD) has recently concluded a project with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) which has produced two papers. The first paper estimates the demand for vocational workers in Australia by 2050, finding that demand will exceed native supply by over two million. While there will be ample, skilled, labour available within Pacific Island countries, facilitating this movement in a managed way that maximizes the development potential of migration will be key. To that end, the second paper proposes the development of a ‘Pacific Skills Partnership’, a model which would facilitate skills creation across 14 low-income Pacific Island countries, with the greatest development potential lying in Papua New Guinea.

In this webinar, we invite participants to discuss the findings of both of these papers, helping to refine and nuance their conclusions, identify the barriers to policy implementation, and chart a way forward.

This webinar is presented by the Center for Global Development and the Development Policy Centre at Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University. The event will be a public webinar and will be recorded. The recording will be made available after the event through the Development Policy Centre website (https://devpolicy.crawford.anu.edu.au).