The Griffith Business Chamber, Griffith City Council and Regional Development Australia Riverina today responded to the ABC Four Corners investigation into the current skills shortage, entitled ‘Left to rot – A visit to the town of Griffith tells you everything you need to know about Australia’s worker shortage crisis.’
John Nikolic, an Executive Committee Member of the Griffith Business Chamber, commented that: ‘We should all sit up and take notice that Griffith has been described by Four Corners as being “emblematic of the national [skills] crisis”‘.
Mayor Curran stated: ‘The skills crisis cannot be solved with a single measure, but there are pieces of the puzzle that we can start to put into place. The Chamber and Council have been collaborating with Regional Development Australia Riverina and experienced consultants on one piece of the puzzle, being a Designated Area Migration Agreement, or DAMA.’
Mr Nikolic continued: ‘DAMAs provide for a bespoke skilled migration list, which reflects the unique skills shortages being faced in a particular geographical area, such as Griffith or the broader Riverina, rather than those being experienced in major cities’.
‘Coupled with better pathways to permanent residency and concessions in relation to age limits, English literacy tests and other matters, DAMAs incentivise foreign workers to migrate to particular areas and provide employers with a broader recruitment pool’.
There are currently 12 areas in Australia that have DAMAs in place. The Chamber and Council want Griffith to be one of them. We are currently working with RDA Riverina towards the creation of a DAMA for the Riverina, which we would hope to see in place in 2023.’
‘If employers are interested in utilizing a DAMA, we encourage them to contact the Griffith Business Chamber, Griffith City Council or RDA Riverina to express their support and advise of the particular skills shortages they are facing’.
Media release ends.