KPMG, like its board rivals, is struggling to fill positions at the moment. By early August, the five largest companies were looking for more than 4,000 recruits in roles ranging from cyber to data analysis to creative jobs.
Companies all named delayed visa processing as one of the challenges they face in filling these vacancies.
Ms. Kitchen also highlighted the need for the country to increase the supply of skilled workers by increasing the number of women in the labor force through more family-friendly policies and investing more in training.
We have the opportunity to grow the economy by encouraging the participation of women in the labor market. They can offer more working hours,” Ms Kitchen said.
Accounting body CA ANZ also wants visa processing to be speeded up to increase the number of skilled and unskilled workers in the country.
“We need to find a way to bring skilled migrants back to this country, to our consulting, accounting, auditing and professional services firms, and to our cafes, shops and restaurants,” said Ainslie van Onselen, CEO from CA ANZ.
Ms van Onselen, who is attending the summit, will also push for women to have “equal opportunities and equal pay”. One suggestion from the body to promote this is to make “the pension system simpler, fairer and more financially secure”.
The Morrison government capped Australia’s total migration inflow at 160,000 a year before COVID-19 hit, and migration has fallen into net negative territory during the pandemic.
In addition, around 600,000 temporary visa holders have left in recent years, leaving large gaps in the healthcare, construction and hospitality sectors.
Business groups are pushing for the migration cap to be raised to at least 200,000 over the next two years, but other groups say this alone will not solve the shortage of skilled workers.
On Wednesday, PwC chief executive Tom Seymour said employers needed to consider measures other than increased immigration to ease the labor shortages the economy was facing.
Mr Seymour, who will attend the summit next week, wants more organizations to take advantage of the consultancy firm’s expertise to recruit talented university graduates and turn them into in-demand skilled workers. He described the company as a “massive, for-profit training institution”.