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Government makes Global Talent program permanent to attract the world’s best and brightest

8 August 2019

Joint media release with the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, the Hon David Coleman MP

Australian businesses and start-ups will have streamlined access to the best and brightest talent from around the world with the continuation of the Global Talent - Employer Sponsored program (GTES), formerly the Global Talent Scheme. 

Following a successful pilot last financial year, the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman has made the GTES an ongoing program.

“The pilot showed the GTES has strong support from industry and highlighted the economic benefits of recruiting overseas talent directly to Australian businesses”, Mr Coleman said.

“These highly-skilled overseas workers bring with them unique skills and knowledge that are transferred to Australian businesses, allowing for the creation of further jobs for Australians.”

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said making the program permanent would give the technology sector the certainty it needs to grow.

“This program will provide our tech companies with the skilled workers they need to be able to do business here in Australia and grow, which will in turn contribute to our economy and create more jobs for Australians,” Minister Andrews said.

“We obviously want Australians employed wherever possible but this program will help tech companies to fill the gaps, while we continue to develop the skilled workforce we need.

“These highly skilled workers will not only help Australian businesses to grow but will also share knowledge with our local workforce and help to upskill their colleagues.”

23 GTES agreements have been entered into with companies seeking to fill specialised positions. The GTES agreements last five years and provide access for up to 20 highly-skilled visa applicants per year for established businesses and five per year for start-ups.

Online graphic design business Canva is one of Australia’s most valuable and successful start-ups and has been involved in the GTES pilot.

CEO and cofounder of Canva Melanie Perkins said the program has helped to fill critical roles in the multi-billion dollar business.

“Our ability to bring in top talent from overseas will help us to continue to deliver on our huge product roadmap, which is essential to the success and growth of Canva,” Ms Perkins said.

“As a result of skills training and knowledge transfer, we’ve been able to strengthen our people’s skills in technology and innovation, which in the long-run will help create more employment and economic opportunities in Australia.”

The Start-up Advisory Panel will continue to be a key feature of the ongoing GTES program.

The Panel endorses eligible start-ups for access to the scheme and enables start-ups access to the critical skills required to advance their businesses and create more jobs for Australians.

Chair of the Start-up Advisory Panel, Alex McCauley, said the continuation of the GTES is great news for high growth young businesses in Australia.

“We've got high expectations for Australian start-ups and have seen firsthand the value generated by the scheme - we want them to be global success stories very rapidly, but to do that, they need access to the best talent in the world”, Mr McCauley said.

“We know from the pilot phase that these visas are unlocking tremendous business growth. That growth is in turn allowing those companies to hire and train a large number of additional local positions.”

Q-CTRL Pty Ltd, a company at the forefront of the emerging quantum computing industry, has had an agreement in place in the Startup stream since November 2018.

CEO and Founder of Q-CTRL Michael Biercuk said that Australia has an opportunity to build global-scale companies in quantum technology, and doing so requires global-scale searches for highly skilled talent.

“This program is essential to our efforts establishing Q-CTRL at the vanguard of the field,” Mr Biercuk said.

The Department of Home Affairs aims to finalise all GTES agreements within two weeks of a complete application being submitted, allowing businesses to fill critical vacancies quickly.

Businesses applying for the program are required to demonstrate they are unable to source Australian workers for the roles they are seeking to fill.

Further information is available at the Department of Home Affairs website.

Media contacts:

Minister Andrews' office 02 6277 7070

Minister Coleman's office 02 6277 7770