13 Jan 2014

More skilled migrants wanted by business group

1:32 pm on 13 January 2014

A business lobby group is urging the federal government to boost Australia's immigration intake by more than 15% next year.

The ABC reports the Australian Industry Group wants the government to increase the immigration intake from 190,000 this financial year to 220,000 in 2014-15, with a particular focus on skilled migrants.

Chief executive Innes Willox said now is the right time to accelerate skilled migration given Australia's ageing workforce and skills shortages in industries including mining, construction, engineering and health.

"Australia will need an increase of about 2.8 million people with quite specific skills over the next decade to fill some of those gaps," he said.

"We need to find ways to fill those gaps, and obviously we can train our own, but the quickest stop gap measure is to import skills."