Innovation and Science Australia welcomes Global Talent Scheme to stimulate talent attraction and skilled migration

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Media release

20 March 2018

Innovation and Science Australia (ISA) commends the Australian Government on its announcement of a Global Talent Scheme visa class to attract highly skilled talent to Australia.

Chair of Innovation and Science Australia, Mr Bill Ferris AC, said ‘the ISA Board is pleased to see that the Government has listened to concerns about changes to Australia’s migration system that might detract from our ability to supply the skills our economy needs to grow to its full potential.’

‘We see highly skilled talent as jobs multipliers. Our board members know from first-hand experience that where emerging firms have access to the right skills, their growth in turn creates more jobs for locals,’ Mr Ferris said.

‘Some recent media commentary on this contentious topic suggested that overseas talent will take Australian jobs - this simply is not true.’

ISA recently released Australia 2030: Prosperity through Innovation (the 2030 Plan) which challenges governments and the Australian public to be bolder in using innovation to unlock economic and social opportunity for the future.

The 2030 Plan includes a recommendation for strengthening access to overseas talent through continuing and targeted updates to skilled migration rules and improved marketing to suitable talent.

‘This recommendation is backed by a recent CGU Migration Small Business report which showed that a third of small businesses are run by migrants, and they are over-performing across a range of measures including job creation, innovation, revenue and growth aspirations,’ Mr Ferris said.  

‘Our report also notes the importance of strengthening our education system, and we recognise that improvements to immigration policy should not distract from the need to grow our domestic skills base through our schools, Vocational Education and Training system, and university sectors.’

ISA has been working with government to encourage an alternative skills-migration pathway that does not rely on a historic skilled occupations list to determine where our skilled shortage areas lie.

‘Our immediate challenge is that our innovation system is creating whole new categories of jobs, so how can we rely on a skilled migration system that relies on a historic list of job descriptions?’, Mr Ferris said.

‘We want to be in a position to bring in cutting-edge talent from overseas to mentor and grow Australia’s local talent and economic prosperity, in all parts of our innovation system.’

‘We will continue to work closely with government to ensure Australia’s skilled migration system encourages the right talent for Australia,’ Mr Ferris said.