Talent Visa just a money grab?
The interesting part here is that it is a pilot, not exactly a ringing endorsement of confidence for innovative Australia, and something out of Labor’s, the Opposition’s play book, but more about that later.
The Government recognises there is fierce competition globally for high-tech skills and talent, and that attracting these people helps to transfer skills to Australian workers and grow Australian-based businesses. Being a bit elitist I think would not hurt, so calling them professionals rather than workers may be more appropriate. After all, coming to Australia just to be a worker may not have that much appeal.
In isolation such policies always look good but to really attract talent the overall framework and business conditions have to be conducive as well. The Australian market is relatively small and most innovation should have world potential if it is true innovation. Based on such a background the brand Australia and its positioning are also important and here consistency is key. In a globalised, internet, world it is almost impossible to have different messaging for local or global consumption so logic is key to any winning argument one would think.
Innovation is not something one can mandate, support for innovation yes, but that means being able to recognise it, that is innovation, in the first place. The concept that a Government could do that leaves many observers bemused. Many cynics would say this is just about more ways of getting money into an economy.
The proposed Global Talent Scheme pilot will consist of two components.
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 into Australia.
The 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.
Not sure why that matters if it is about innovation?
The sponsoring business must have a track record of hiring and training Australians.
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 the both instances, a four-year Temporary Skill Shortage visa will be issued with permanent residence applications available after three years!
The Government will consult further on the details of the scheme over the next few months, before piloting it for 12 months, starting 1 July 2018. An industry advisory group will provide ongoing guidance for the pilot.
Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Alan Tudge said that the new scheme is recognition that global talent is in high demand and we need to provide pathways for Australian businesses to access this.
The Government wants to ensure that Australian businesses can access the best talent in the world, because this will underpin business growth, skills transfer and job creation, Minister Tudge said. 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 the Government’s 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.
Jobs and Innovation by Visa?
Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Michaelia Cash said the new scheme will particularly help Australian employers in our growing innovation sector and help them to create more Australian 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.
The Opposition, Labor (the alternative Government) on the other hand claims, in May 2017, Labor led the way by announcing that in Government Labor would establish a four-year SMART visa for the best and brightest overseas talent in Science, Medicine, Academia, Research and Technology.
Labor’s new SMART visa would mean the best and brightest talent from around the world would have the opportunity to develop their ideas in Australia, with a pathway to permanent residency for educators, innovators and researchers of a global standing.
Labor now claims, over ten months later, Turnbull and his conservatives are playing catch up and following Labor’s lead by announcing a “Global Talent Scheme Pilot”.
Turnbull’s scheme is only a pilot, and by the Government’s own admission, they haven’t finalised the details of the pilot including the number of visas set to be made available or which specific jobs they’ll be available for.
Only Labor, it claims, will ensure Australia remains a world-leader with medical, scientific research, and high-tech industries having access to the very best minds from around the world.
At least both major parties agree innovation is important and in respects to migration can be critical for Australian businesses to succeed. The question is whether these Visa options really help or make a complex system even more difficult to navigate. The other problem is the potentially contradictory rules, guidelines and the question of money.
How do you view the Talent or SMART Visa?
A. Makes sense, is good?
B. Seems like a scam?
C. Open to corruption?
D. Too complex?
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