Business groups believe the Turnbull government’s decision to introduce a new visa scheme to attract skilled workers will give companies greater flexibility to keep growing and investing in Australia.
From July 1, the ‘Global Talent Scheme” will be piloted for 12 months to allow established businesses with an annual turnover of more than $4 million to sponsor highly skilled and experienced individuals for positions with earnings above $180,000 into Australia.
Technology-based and STEM-related start-up businesses will also be able to sponsor experienced people with specialised technology skills.
In both instances, a four -year temporary skill shortage visa will be issued with permanent residence applications available after three years.
“We want to ensure that Australian businesses can access the best talent in the world because this will underpin growth, skills transfer and job creation,” Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge said in a statement.
The government will consult further on the details of the scheme over the next few months aided by an industry advisory group.
Labor said the government is playing catch-up to the opposition’s own proposal announced 10 months ago, the SMART (Science, Medicine, Academia, Research and Technology) visa.
In a statement, it notes the government’s scheme is yet to be finalised.
“This was how the conservatives botched their skilled immigration policy in the first place – by rushing to make an announcement and failing to consult the industries that would be impacted, with reports department officials described the changes as a “dog’s breakfast’,” Labor said.
But the Business Council of Australia congratulated the government for the pilot scheme which will give businesses the ability to expand into new markets, fill skills shortages and adapt to change.
“Skilled migrants contribute to a more productive and innovative economy, helping create the conditions for higher wages and growing the economy for all Australians,” the council’s chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“Small business will also benefit from increased economic activity, while consumers benefit from better products and cheaper prices.”
Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox says the plan will be welcomed by many businesses and start-ups that are struggling to fill positions locally.
“It also acknowledges the global nature of many of our businesses and will hopefully allow for the freer movement of employees between and within these enterprises,” he said.
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