Leading cleaning, hygiene, and waste management company, Quayclean Australia, has outlined a three-part plan ahead of the Jobs and Skills Summit to help overcome labour shortages and boost Australia’s business and economic COVID-19 recovery.
Quayclean Chief Executive, Mark Piwkowski, has backed Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s statements that Permanent Residency can assist attract skilled and unskilled migrants, but said the Government must go further.
Mr Piwkowski has written to Immigration Minister Andrew Giles and to business leaders attending the Summit outlining a pathway to recovery.
“The Government said it will boost migration numbers and reduce the visa processing backlog, but we are of the firm view that the Government must also focus on retaining temporary visa holders currently in Australia and provide them with accessible pathways for Permanent Residency,” said Mr Piwkowski.
“The supply of migrants is not assured and for Australia to remain a preferred destination for migrants, Australia needs clear and transparent pathways to permanency. Australia’s long-term interests are best served when temporary migration is considered a genuine pathway to Permanent Residency,” he said.
Mr Piwkowski has also urged the Government to review the current directive that Permanent Residency applicants, including company sponsored applicants, must re-locate to regional towns to support their applications.
“Quayclean has proudly supported and sponsored several workers with their applications for Permanent Residency and we have already many endorsed workers who are seeking Permanent Residency status,” he said.
“However, I have key leadership staff that have been forced to move from Sydney and Melbourne to regional locations to support their Permanent Residency Applications. One of my Contract Managers had to move to Darwin. She and her husband were gainfully employed by Quayclean but did not have work when they landed in Darwin.
“These workers are gainfully employed by Quayclean, and we believe their applications for residency should be accelerated for approval to meet current workforce shortages in the cities where they reside, and not be forced to move to new locations to re-settle their families and seek new employment,” he said.
“Developing Contract Managers is a skill developed over time and these skills are in terribly short supply. Why should an employee who is gainfully employed in a metropolitan area be forced to move regionally with no work, when new migrants can fulfill this function or at least have a balanced model?”
Mr Piwkowski also called on the Government to continue to allow Student Visa holders to work up to 40 hours per week to meet current labour demand.
The $12 billion cleaning industry in Australia employs more than 175,000 people and is one of the largest employers of Student Visa holders
“The previous Morrison Government said the extension in Student Visa holder working hours was temporary and subject to further Government review.
“However, given the current severe labour shortages, we believe the current relaxation of student visa working hours should be extended indefinitely until the numbers of overseas students arriving in Australia returns to pre-COVID numbers,” he added.
In summary, Quayclean’s three steps to assist Australian business and the economy are:
- Continue to allow student visa holders to work up to 40 hours per week indefinitely to meet current labour demand
- Retain temporary visa holders currently in Australia and fast-track accessible pathways for Permanent Residency
- Allow company-sponsored Permanent Residency applicants to remain in cities where they currently have full-time employment
Quayclean Australia is a wholly owned nationwide cleaning, hygiene services and presentation business, which employs more than 2,200 staff who are fully employed under the Modern Award.
Quayclean is responsible for Australia’s biggest and busiest public sites including Melbourne & Olympic Parks, Southern Cross Station, Marvel Stadium, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Cricket Ground, Adelaide Oval, Perth Zoo, the Gabba, Parliament of Victoria, Australian Turf Club and Melbourne Racing Club venues, plus a wide range of private schools across the country.