After having recently replaced the 457 visa with the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) program, the Australian government also launched a new program: The Global Talent Scheme. This initiative has a primary purpose of and focus on assisting high-growth companies in attracting the highly skilled foreign workers for key positions. Begun on July 1, 2018, the pilot program will run until June of next year.
Australia’s Global Talent Scheme
Australia’s Global Talent Scheme is divided into two streams:
1. Established businesses that either have had an annual turnover of at least AU$4 million for each of the past two years or are publicly listed.
2. Startup companies operating in a STEM-related field, e.g. digital, biomedical, agriculture technology.
The stream for established businesses will allow companies better access to highly skilled expatriate workers for positions with salaries exceeding AU$180,000. However, employers must first demonstrate their recruitment policy gives priority to Australian workers. There should also be a demonstrable skills transfer to Australian workers due to sponsored workers being given a visa.
Startups must show prioritization of employing Australians and be endorsed or recognized by a relevant startup authority. The designated organization will be decided upon by the industry. Stakeholders must also be in communication with the Australian government to determine financial criteria for the startup stream. (Government stated equity stakes will be considered and factored in.) Sponsored foreigners must earn a salary at market rate with a cash component of no less than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold which presently stands at AU$53,900.
A Fast Track to the World’s Top Talent
Australia’s Global Talent Scheme is not unlike Canada’s Global Talent Stream; there are two categories of the GTS targeting both workers in identified in-demand occupations and high-growth companies. The GTS is part of Canada’s Global Skills Strategy and enables prioritized work permit processing in high-demand occupations requiring specialized skills and talents for a worldwide economy, namely in the areas of information technology, web design or digital media, as well as electrical engineering. Canada’s government recognizes that to promote growth in fast-changing industries, employers must fill certain specialized positions rapidly; often, there aren’t enough qualified Canadian workers available.
Australia’s Global Talent Scheme Optimizes Future Prospects in Technology
Australia has had the same problem as Canada, and the Global Talent Scheme will help to address this issue. Australian Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Alan Tudge, expressed his focus on ensuring Australian businesses would be able to access the very best talent and most qualified workers in the world, as this will support and fuel business growth, job creation, and skills transfer.
Australians are prioritized for the jobs at every stage, but when experienced and specific skills aren’t available locally, it will be easier to attract and retain top talent from other countries. Unlike skilled visas that grant work authorization, no certain occupation or skills list for the scheme will be created.
Startup businesses will be able to access up to five positions per year, and established businesses up to 20 annually. Sponsored employees that participate in either stream can access a pathway to transition into permanent residence after working in the program for at least three years.
Hiring Top Outside Talent Improves Outlook for Australian Workers
The announcement of Australia’s Global Talent Scheme follows a year of commentary and lobbying from the startup community. It was concerned about the detrimental impact 457 visa changes could have on the overall ecosystem. However, many business and economic leaders believe a deficit in experienced talent from across the world is the main factor constraining growth in high-tech industries in Australia.
Instead of being a detriment to Australian hiring, experts state the positive influence of the most talented workers from overseas improves prospects for local talent. Past changes to the 457 visa program had done damage to the reputation of Australia in the tech world. In effect, it caused uncertainty and cut Australia off from engagement with the world workforce and tech industry.
Business leaders across Australia are celebrating the launch of the Global Talent Scheme. Many are especially complimentary of the provisions for startups, saying this is a major win for the tech sector. More efficient access to the best talent is sure to accelerate prospects and growth for fast-growing startups and technology businesses. Business leaders also point out that each hire from outside the country will have a net effect of increased prospects, education, and positive influence for Australian workers.
Is Your Business Ready to Benefit from Australia’s Global Talent Scheme?
For companies that are looking to capitalize on Australia’s Global Talent Scheme pilot program, Velocity Global’s global immigration experts can provide assistance through each step of the process. If you’re ready to grow your team with highly skilled global workers, reach out to Velocity Global today to get started.