The Australian Government’s recent announcements regarding the employer sponsored visa program has had a significant impact on businesses being able to implement their recruitment and talent acquisition strategies.
The change to the occupation lists, effective on 19th April 2017, saw the removal of 216 occupations and a further 59 occupations with further restrictions. The occupation lists now consist of the Short Term Occupation List (STSOL) and the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills Lists (MLTSSL). The maximum duration for 457 visas issued for occupations on the STSOL is two years. Occupations on the MLTSSL will continue to be issued for a maximum duration of four years.
The changes to the occupation lists and 457 visa validity has had a significant and immediate impact on businesses currently utilising the 457 program, as it was applied to all applications lodged and not yet finalized as well all applications lodged after 19th April.
Many businesses are facing the challenge of a skill shortage on a global scale within their industries. Employers are not only competing for skills in the Australian market but also internationally. Businesses are extending their recruitment programs outside Australia because the required skills are not available in Australia. The nature of the announcements has created uncertainty and a reduced confidence in the program for potential employees which will add to the difficulty in attracting potential applicants in the international employment market.
The changes and proposed changes to the employer sponsored visa program were without consultation with industry and business. Since the announcement on 19th April 2017, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has begun stakeholder consultation to understand the significant impact the changes will have on businesses and industries. Hopefully the Government is beginning to understand the important role the employer sponsored visa program plays in business growth and expansion in Australia.
It is more important than ever to partner with a migration agency to assist in reviewing your HR strategy. At SCA Connect we work with our corporate clients to formulate a strategic visa solution within the current visa framework and assist in planning for further changes to the employer sponsored visa program. We can guide you through the changes and review how they impact your business as well the options available to ensure you have the right skills.
Contact us now to find out what role we can play in your business.