The Tech Council of Australia (TCA) has welcomed the government’s new migration strategy to combat the nation’s tech skills shortage.
Today, the government announced its 10-year migration strategy which among other changes proposes to introduce a new skills in demand visa to replace the existing temporary skill shortage visa.
There are three pathways to the four-year visa, with the specialist skills pathway attracting highly skilled workers from sectors such as technology and energy.
TCA said the new strategy will make Australia more competitive at attracting more workers with global experience, which will increase the global success of local companies.
“We welcome the adoption of the TCA’s recommendation for a specialist skills pathway with reduced red tape, a path to permanent residency and a 7-day service standard for processing visa applications,” TCA CEO Kate Pounder said.
“Equivalent economies such as Canada and the UK already have 5-10 day service standards and much clearer paths to permanent residency. That has put Australia at a disadvantage globally in attracting top talent.”
TCA said the changes in the migration strategy are critical to achieving the government’s goal of reaching 1.2 million tech workers by 2030 and addressing the country’s concerning gaps in its tech workforce.
“Shortages of experienced tech workers can put Australia’s security and economy at risk”, Pounder said.
“For example, a shortage of experienced cybersecurity professionals or chief information officers can make it harder for businesses to protect against cyber attacks, which increased by 23 per cent in the last year.”
“A lack of experienced workers can also hamper the success and growth of local firms seeking to export, and make it harder to train and coach local workers.”
“For homegrown companies looking to grow globally, it is vital to have someone in your team who has launched products and companies into other markets. That one person can train a team of 100 young Australians.”
“They can teach a young advanced manufacturing firm how to set up their factory and build a global supply chain, or a software team how to efficiently and safely build a global product.”
“Their experience gives Aussie businesses an edge when taking on global competitors, meaning the company grows faster and more successfully.”
“These changes will put Australia back in the global game when it comes attracting the best talent to our country.”