Smart Australian organisations are making immigration part of their recruitment, talent acquisition, and retention solutions, says immigration thought leader and TMA Managing Director, Sarah Thapa.
The impact of COVID and the increased pressure on the labour market means, now more than ever, it’s important for organisations across all major industries, and especially the health and life sciences sectors, to think outside the box when it comes to recruiting global talent to fill skills gaps.
A recent guest speaker on the BioMelbourne podcast, Sarah shared insights into the intricacies of the Global Talent Program, a streamlined permanent residency pathway for highly skilled professionals and talented applicants.
In this blog, we outline why Australian businesses must get on board with the international recruitment opportunities available to them, and how to go about utilising the Global Talent Program.
Australia is an attractive destination for global talent
Australia now ranks fifth in the world for COVID resilience (Bloomberg), which makes us a very attractive destination for global talent to live and work. Coupled with $70 billion in grants and our No.1 ranking for technological readiness (Global Australia), Australia is at the forefront of opportunities for candidates, Australian businesses and businesses setting up operations in Australia.
It is for these reasons that we have a real competitive advantage as a country to attract and retain global talent. It’s also why the Government has ramped up promotion of the Global Talent Program, which is now popular with different sectors including health and life sciences, for its fast-turnaround times for permanent residency.
The program is the highest-priority program of the Australian Government and we are seeing extremely quick processing times. At TMA, some of our clients have expressed interest to apply and been accepted in a matter of days, with their visas being approved within weeks.
Smart organisations are using the Global Talent Program
Right now a knowledge gap exists in many sectors, including the health and life sciences, as to the visa solutions available to solve the major shortage of talent in Australia.
It’s important for health and life science leaders (including pharmaceuticals, biotech, and medical and clinical devices) to have an accurate understanding of what immigration and visa options are available and whether they are eligible as a candidate or organisation to take advantage of those opportunities.
That’s where the Global Talent Program can help and currently there are 12,000 places available for eligible candidates.
The Global Talent Program was introduced in Australia in 2019 by the Australian Government with the intention to find ways to fill shortages in some of the innovative sectors in Australia.
One such way is the Global Talent Independent Visa, which is a fast-tracked pathway to permanent residency for exceptional talents, who are skilled in sectors that the Government is targeting – and right now there is a huge focus on the health and life sciences sector.
How to get access to the Global Talent Program
There are a number of ways people can be connected to the Global Talent Program.
- Talent officers: The Government itself has “talent scouts” known as global talent officers, who scour the world looking for potential talents who are then directly invited by the Government to apply.
- Employer endorsement: Candidates already employed in Australia can gain entry with endorsement from their employer, provided that their employer is recognised as a leading national or international organisation in the field.
- Individual applications: Candidates can apply directly to the program, with nomination from a peak industry body or individual referee who has achievements in the same field.
One of the distinct differences between the Global Talent Program compared to other programs is that candidates don’t need to have employment in Australia to apply, allowing for individual candidate applications.
However, the Global Talent Independent Visa does require a nomination from an Australian body or individual who has a record of achievement in their field of expertise.
The nomination process is fundamental to being invited into the program, and endorsements are important to show that an applicant would be of benefit to Australia if they were offered a place.
How to get started
While the Global Talent Program may look like it’s for only the most exceptional and elite candidates, that is a misconception. Many candidates may not think of themselves as global talent, which is why the greatest value in the visa process is in the initial eligibility assessment to look at a candidate’s skill profile and determine whether they’re a good match for the program.
The good news is that candidates working internationally, who have worked at a senior level in reputable organisations and who have been doing work of international significance can qualify. For example, a candidate running clinical trials of a new drug may still qualify, even if they are not the inventor of that pharmaceutical product. At TMA, we’ve also helped people obtain a Global Talent Visa who are involved in the commercialisation of a new drug or medical device, are part of the research team, or in clinical operations. The program’s span is diverse.
Other facts candidates and companies need to know
- If you don’t use it, you lose it: With about 12,000 places still available, it’s important to note that if the program is not fully utilised, it can affect available spaces in the future. For example, there was an evident drop in the number of places available in the 2020-21 financial year compared to the 2021-22 financial year. Unused places do not carry forward into future years.
- No industry allocations: There’s no specific industry allocation of the places. It is a first come, first served basis. If one particular industry is actively using the Global Talent Program, for example the health or life sciences sectors, it will use all of the places available, which is why it’s important for each sector to have a good understanding of how to access and utilise the program, to gain the maximum benefit from it.
- Permanent residency: The Global Talent Visa gives permanent residency to the main applicant and their immediate family members, meaning they are automatically exempt to travel to Australia.
Have questions about the Global Talent Program? Get in touch
With the labour market being more globalised, easier access to global talent and lower barriers to hire internationally, there’s never been a better time to hire global talents and make immigration part of your recruitment solution.
The immigration process is complicated and complex. Partnering with an immigration specialist team such at TMA will help navigate the process easily. If you would like to know more about the Global Talent Program, please contact our highly skilled team today.