With unemployment at 3.8 percent in Australia, an overwhelming number of companies are under pressure to fill roles. Australian businesses will soon have more flexibility when it comes to accessing visas for workers from overseas.
Outsourcing to overseas workers who work desk jobs is one solution, but it doesn’t solve the problem where hands-on work is required in sectors like aged care, transport and construction. To share an example, it was recently reported in McKinsey we need a third more doctors than we have now.
It is interesting to note global unemployment is forecast to rise in 2024. This provides an opportunity for Australia to bring in workers from overseas. The current Government is aware of this and has introduced a revised migration strategy to facilitate smoother, faster pathways.
A globally mobile workforce is key to Australia’s sustainable future. These are some of the changes included in the revised migration strategy.
New Migration Rules in 2024
Australia is set to introduce a Skills in Demand Visa, which will offer three targeted pathways to facilitate employment for migrant workers.
The streams under the Skills in Demand Visa are:
- Specialist Skills pathway – for highly-skilled migrants who are beneficial to Australia’s national productivity. These workers must have guaranteed annual earnings of at least AUD135,000 and earn no less than Australian workers in the same occupation. The pathway will cover all occupations except for trades workers, machinery operators and drivers, and labourers.
- Core Skills pathway – for applicants whose occupation is on a new Core Skills Occupation list which relates to occupations identified by Jobs and Skills Australia as being in shortage and earning at least the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold.
- Essential Skills pathway – this is still under development by the government. It will apply to workers who are paid below AUD70,000 but have essential skills. Workers under this pathway are currently sponsored through labour agreements.
Workers who qualify for a Skills in Demand Visa will benefit from:
- A 4-year validity period and clear pathways to permanent residence.
- Increased mobility, with a 180-day period to find another sponsor while still being able to work.
- Streamlined visa processing, with a service standard of 7 days on average for the Specialist Skills pathway and 21 days for the other streams.
The final benefit is for new graduates. There will be clearer post graduate visa pathways by changing the work experience requirement for the Subclass 482 visa (and future Skills in Demand visa) to allow graduates to move on to a skilled visa earlier. Other changes
Further changes as part of the Albanese Government’s revised migration strategy include:
- Amendments to labour market testing requirements, removing the requirement to advertise on the Workforce Australia website before seeking workers from overseas.
- The points test will be revised to better identify migrants who will make the greatest contribution to Australia.
- A new Talent and Innovation visa is under consideration. This is aimed at driving innovative investments and entrepreneurship.
- Tailoring regional visas and the Working Holiday Maker Program to support regional Australia and its workers.
- The removal of 20+ unnecessary and duplicative visas, to simplify the visa system.
You can read the new Migration Strategy in full here.
According to the Government, the revised strategy will get migration working for the nation. Workers will have better protection when it comes to wages and conditions, and businesses will access the skilled workers they need to be more productive, particularly in critical areas like healthcare, the net zero transition, and the digital economy.