One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has told Australians currently on the dole to get off their ‘backsides’ and start working as businesses struggle to find staff.
While appearing on Sky News Australia, Senator Hanson said: “I think it's over a million people or nearly a million people, who are sitting on the dole and getting the dole, I'd like to see a lot of them get off their backsides and go and start working.
“Instead we're in fourth generations sitting on the bloody dole in this country and think it's a way of life to them.”
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Hanson’s comments come after the Labour government announced plans to increase its immigration intake from 18,000 to 200,000 to bring in skilled immigrants as industries across the country struggle to find employees, according to Sydney Morning Herald.
Skills and Training Minister Brendan O’Connor also said to curb the problem, Australia needed to recognise migrants with ‘existing’ skills and introduce ‘bridging training’ instead of forcing them to study again.
Senator Hanson told the Daily Mail that unemployment benefits should only be accessible two years out of every five for recipients able to work to urge people to find employment.
She said: “One Nation believes in investing in a home-grown skilled Australian workforce to meet the needs of industry and businesses, rather than importing workers to take Australian jobs.”
Hanson added: “These people are only doing themselves and their families a disservice, at tremendous cost to taxpayers."
According to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data, there are 480,100 job vacancies in the country, a 111.1 per cent increase since February 2020.
Among the industries facing the worst staff shortages are the health care and social assistance sector, recording 68,900 vacancies.
While hospital and aged care facilities are desperate for workers, the demand to study nursing is also dropping at an alarming rate.
Director of industry partnerships at Perth's Notre Dame University told ABC News: "It is taking longer to fill courses and I think we're getting fairly close but normally by now they would be completely full and oversubscribed.
"There are other universities that I've spoken to that are saying that it has been harder to fill [courses]. More of them are now filling them but it has been much more challenging than it's been in the past."
Featured Image Credit: Pauline Hanson / Instagram. SOPA Images Limited / Alamy Live News