Federal Government Global Talent Independence program doesn’t go far enough



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CEDA has welcomed the announcement of the Federal Government’s Global Talent Independent (GTI) program, but called on the Government to provide additional certainty for businesses through temporary skilled migration including by updating the occupation codes that feed into the skilled occupation list and introducing an intra-company transfer scheme to complement this new program.

CEDA CEO Melinda Cilento said: “The Global Talent Independent (GTI) program targets high-end earners and skills, which is an important step, but there are skills shortages at various levels of experience that would benefit from further improvements to the current system.
“While the GTI is a step in the right direction it is yet another change to a system in almost constant flux. What business would benefit from is certainty going forward, and a consistent approach across the entire immigration system that encourages and enables the best and brightest to work in Australia
“This will ensure the system is easier to navigate for business and applicants and that we are getting the skills we need at all levels.”
Ms Cilento said CEDA’s July 2019 research report, Effects of temporary migration, highlighted actions that could deliver quick wins for the whole system including:

  • Ensuring the ANZSCO occupation codes align with current and emerging labour needs to make that list responsive to business skill requirements; and
  • Introducing a dedicated path for intra-company transfer for global companies in Australia recognising that these companies manage their workforce development across countries and to ensure that Australian workers benefit from global expertise.
 “The Federal Government should task the ABS with undertaking a comprehensive review of the ANZSCO codes, which were last updated in 2013.  This would cost the government an estimated $4 million, a fraction of the GTI, and is critical to meeting skills gaps given that cutting edge skills are missing from the codes and therefore our talent pool,” she said.
“At present, the outdated codes are holding back hiring in skilled areas like data science, an occupation that doesn’t feature in the ANZSCO codes and is ineligible for inclusion in our skilled occupation lists.
“Data science is an emerging and important sector in Australia.  Our skill needs vary, from those at the top of their game like Chief Data Scientists, to data scientists and data analysts at more junior levels. The GTI currently only targets those at the top end of experience-skill nexus.
“A review of the occupation codes offers a way to update the system so we can bring in the skills we need today and avoid the need for further piecemeal solutions.”
“Australia has a unique opportunity to attract high quality migrants. Australia’s education system provides an important pathway for potential migrants with almost 27,000 international graduates completing a qualification in IT and engineering related courses.
“Temporary migrants also deliver much needed skills in these areas, with 10,000 temporary skilled visa holders in ICT, technology and engineering related occupations.
“However, Australia offers these individuals limited opportunity to continue to contribute to our economic development compared to those migrants who will be covered by the GTI. 
“The occupation code update offers a simple whole of system upgrade.
“If Australia is serious about removing barriers to investment and business confidence, then we need to make it easier for business to import the best global talent and expertise at all levels where there are skill shortages.
“Skilled migration delivers benefits to the business and broader economy through transfer of knowledge and skills, increasing the skills base and productivity of the broader workforce.
“Migration is widely cited as one of the reasons for Australia’s 28 years of uninterrupted economic growth. Getting the system right with changes that improve the whole system will support continued economic growth.”