Towards a better migration program - Grattan Institute

Australia should select permanent skilled migrants for their long-term economic potential.

Skilled migrants tend to be younger, higher-skilled, and earn higher incomes than the typical Australian. Skilled migrants generate a fiscal dividend to the Australian community because they pay more in taxes than they receive in public services and benefits over their lifetimes.

Recent Federal Government decisions have taken Australia in the wrong direction. They have shifted the composition of Australia’s permanent skilled visas away from categories with a track record of selecting younger, skilled migrants best placed to succeed in Australia.

Today, a growing share of permanent skilled visas are allocated to boosting business investment and to the unproven Global Talent program. These changes should be reversed.

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Henry Sherrell

Migration Deputy Program Director
Henry is a policy analyst with experience in government, consulting, and research. Prior to joining Grattan, Henry worked as an independent researcher focusing on Australian and international immigration policy. He has worked for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, the Migration Council Australia, a Federal MP, the Federal Parliamentary Library, and the Development Policy Centre at the ANU.

Will Mackey

Senior Associate
Will Mackey is a Senior Associate at Grattan Institute. An economist and data scientist, he has worked in the Economic Policy, Education, and Health programs. He spent 2020 working on Australia’s COVID-19 response, with Grattan and in the Victorian Department of Health.

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