Australia is seeking to continue as a leader in attracting the best and the brightest as international competition for global talent intensifies.

In December 2018, the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman announced the Global Talent Independent (GTI) program.

The program aims to identify up to 5000 highly talented people in future-focussed fields from across the globe and attract them to Australia to help build the economy of the future.

The program will create opportunities for Australians by transferring skills, promoting innovation, and creating job opportunities.

“By attracting the very best, we will help to build enterprises that will employ large numbers of Australians in high skill, high wage jobs. Over time, the Global Talent initiative has the potential to have a transformational impact on the Australian economy,” The Minister said in a speech to the Sydney Institute.

The Department of Home Affairs will work with Australian universities, industry bodies, and state and territory governments to attract global talent to Australia. The Department will have Global Talent Officers located in Berlin, Dubai, Santiago, Shanghai, Singapore, and Washington DC who will work across a number of countries in their region and attend key industry events and expos to promote the program.

Access to the program is by referral from either a Global Talent Officer or an organisation with a national reputation in the same field as the applicant. Highly skilled professionals referred to the Department may be invited to apply for a Distinguished Talent visa.

As part of the Global Talent Scheme, the Minister last month announced the Global Talent – Employer Sponsored (GTES) program, piloted last financial year, would be made an ongoing program.  He said the pilot showed the program had strong support from industry and highlighted the economic benefits of recruiting overseas talent directly to Australian businesses.

The GTES program gives Australian businesses and start-ups streamlined access to the best and brightest talent from around the world.   According to the Department of Home Affairs website there are currently 18 GTES agreements with companies seeking to fill specialised positions.

The Minister said, “these highly-skilled overseas workers bring with them unique skills and knowledge that are transferred to Australian businesses, allowing for the creation of further jobs for Australians”.

AMMA has been invited to discuss opportunities to be involved in these initiatives to attract global talent particularly for the resources and energy industry. If AMMA members would like more information about these initiatives, please contact [email protected].

Regional focus for review of skilled migration occupation lists

Last week the Morrison Government commenced a review of the skilled migration occupation lists, inviting feedback from interested stakeholders, particularly those in regional areas.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the department review of the skilled migration occupation list was to ensure it is responsive to genuine skill needs and regional variations across Australia.

Minister Cash said “as a Government, our role is to ensure that Australian employers can access workers with the skills needed to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow when they can’t be met by the domestic workforce”.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, the Hon David Coleman MP, said the Government’s migration program is focussed on ensuring employers can access workers to fill critical skills shortages, particularly in regional Australia.

“The Morrison Government is continuing to look closely at ways of filling these skills gaps in regional areas and giving businesses more certainty and confidence that they can get the workers they need, when they need them,” he said.

As part of the review, the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business is consulting with industry, employers, unions and individuals in developing advice for the Government on the occupations required to meet the labour market needs of the Australian economy.

Unfortunately for the resources and energy industry, the last update to the skilled migration occupation lists in March this year did not include any of the occupations identified by AMMA members as of concern for our sector.

AMMA will continue to provide further information and evidence in relation to the remaining occupations ineligible for skilled migration under these lists as part of industry consultation. The occupations identified as high priority by AMMA members, in particular drilling and maritime industry roles, continue to be the focus of attention.

The review will inform the next update to the lists in March 2020. The Department has commenced public consultation to identify which occupations have been flagged for change and will meet with interested stakeholders from now until February 2020.

To provide input on the Government’s review of skilled migration occupation list, please contact [email protected].

Modernising the national skills needs list

On 29 August 2019 during National Skills Week, the Morrison Government announced a consultation process for a review of the National Skills Needs List, which identifies trades experiencing a skills shortage.

The list is used to determine eligibility to receive financial assistance to take on an apprentice or trainee or up-skill current staff in occupations experiencing skills shortages.

Minister Cash said “the review will ensure skills shortages are identified using a forward-looking, up-to-date methodology and that apprenticeship incentives are targeted at addressing critical skills shortages in the Australian economy”.

The Government has invested $525 million through the Skills Package Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow as part of the VET sector reform.

“Developing a robust and enduring approach to determining how apprenticeship incentives address skills shortages is part of the Morrison Government’s commitment to maintaining a strong vocational education and training sector that supports employers’ needs and builds a skilled workforce,” Minister Cash said.

The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business invites interested stakeholders to respond to the questions outlined in the issues paper, published on the Department’s website. The Department is seeking input from industry and employer groups, and other interested stakeholders, across Australia with a view to advising the Government on the methodology for identifying skills shortage occupations and the inaugural composition of the replacement list.

Minister Cash said the Government is working hard to ensure that skills and training in Australia keeps pace with our changing economy.

Interested stakeholders can lodge their submission using the online submission form or by emailing [email protected]. Submissions close on 27 September 2019.