BHP reveals the shortage of skilled migrant workers hurting businesses everywhere
Australia’s largest company can’t find workers.
Specifically, skilled migrant workers.
That’s what the chief financial officer of mining giant BHP revealed — a bombshell he threw at business leaders at a forum in Melbourne this week.
David Lamont says the situation is not unique to BHP. It’s an Australian-wide problem, but it’s not exclusive to Australia. And the flow affects the effect on everything.
Mr. Lamont was discussing the desire for “certainty” in a world where, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, everything is uncertain.
“We need to plan not just for tomorrow but for five, 10, 15 or 20 years,” he said. Australian Strategic Business Forum last week.
One of the main problems standing in the way of Australia’s return, he said, is the labor shortage. For big companies, it is specifically about a shortage of migrant workers driven by two years of border closures.
While the borders are now open again, the workers… are nowhere to be found, it seems.
“I would like to find that black hole that everyone is running into because we are struggling to find them,” Lamont said.
“The biggest problem for us is not really the labor cost but the labor shortage.
“We have previously been able to rely on immigration to help here in Australia to make up for some of the wage needs we have, be it a cleaner on the job site right down to our skilled staff that we need to run the business.
“So work productivity is the main focus, but skills and skills shortages are also the main issue for us, if you have a look at not just our own operations, but the communities in which we operate.”
When asked where the workers have gone, Lamont said he had not seen them anywhere during trips abroad in the past several months.
“It’s a really good question because I don’t know the answer to that because [I’ve] I’ve been traveling the world lately and don’t know which economy to go to – everyone is struggling to work.”
“Adel [bit] From that, I think, probably [because of Covid-19]but people have [also] They rethink how they really want to work.
“We have a lot of people working part-time in the economy but certainly I think immigration has played a role in different parts of the world.”
The shortage of skilled migrant workers coming to Australia has forced Western Australian Prime Minister Mark McGowan to seek help from the federal government.
His government this week launched a registry to connect businesses in Western Australia with overseas workers.
The Western Australia Reports state that the unprecedented labor shortage is “hampering growth across industries as well as the delivery of essential services in areas such as health and elderly care”.
But industry leaders say Australia is no longer the number one destination for workers.
Fiona Webb, national immigration lead at Deloitte, says skilled migrants do not want to work in Australia because they have gained a bad reputation abroad.
She said they were accepting jobs in different parts of the world because they were worried about the border situation in Australia and because they couldn’t wait for visa approvals.
Our slow nature [visa] Processing, along with uncertainty about the pathway to obtaining permanent residence in Australia, means that employers are losing out on good candidates in other markets.” Australian.
“Often these candidates at the table are from two or three countries.”
The problem is getting worse, she said, as Australia watches its skilled workforce go out the door.
“Add to that, we’re on the cusp of getting an influx of Australia as the 18-25-year-old wants to travel overseas again, and now they have the ability to do so,” she said.