Monday, 19 March 2018 11:00

Government goes after global talent with new visa scheme Featured

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Government goes after global talent with new visa scheme Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The federal government is set to trial a new visa scheme to attract highly skilled global talent and deliver innovation to Australia with a pilot programme to be launched from 1 July.

The new Global Talent Scheme, jointly announced on Monday by the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge and the Minister for Jobs and Innovation Michaelia Cash, will consist of two components.

To qualify, the sponsoring employers will need to be able to demonstrate that they prioritise the employment of Australians and that there will be skills transfer to Australian workers as a result of the person being granted a visa – and they must have a track record of hiring and training Australians.  

Established businesses with an annual turnover of more than $4 million will be able to sponsor highly skilled and experienced individuals for positions with earnings above $180,000.

And technology-based and STEM-related start-up businesses will also be able to sponsor experienced people with specialised technology skills. Start-ups will need to be recognised by a start-up authority and demonstrate that they prioritise the employment of Australians.

In both programmes, a four year Temporary Skill Shortage visa will be issued with permanent residence applications available after three years.  

The government has said it will consult further on the details of the scheme over the next few months, before piloting it for 12 months, starting on 1 July.

An industry advisory group will provide ongoing guidance for the pilot.  

Tudge said that the new scheme was recognition that global talent was in high demand and Australia needed to provide pathways for Australian businesses to access this.   

“We want to ensure that Australian businesses can access the best talent in the world, because this will underpin business growth, skills transfer and job creation.

“At all stages, Australians are prioritised for the jobs, but where the skills and experience are not available here, we want to be able to attract talent from overseas.

“This is part of the ongoing reforms to our skilled visa programs to ensure that Australians have priority for Australian jobs, but acknowledge that there are times when the skills are not available in the country.”

Cash said the new scheme would particularly help Australian employers in Australia’s growing innovation sector and help them to create more jobs.

“Industry figures say globally mobile, highly skilled and experienced staff can act as ‘job multipliers’ in Australian businesses, helping them to hire more local staff and fill critical areas of need,” she said.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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