With the 457 visa’s replacement now in effect, the government is being criticised for ignoring established, medium-sized businesses in the race for skilled workers.
According to Ryan Murtagh, CEO and founder of software company Neto, the new Global Talent Scheme is skewed towards the corporate and start-up sectors, ignoring the needs of established businesses in the middle.
“The government’s new Global Talent Scheme will definitely help – however the beneficiaries will only be the larger tech companies or start-ups. The businesses stuck in between, what would be classified as small-to-medium (or SMBs), will likely struggle with the $180,000 threshold,” said Mr Murtagh.
His own business, which currently employs around 150 people, is just one of those affected by the more restrictive rules of the new scheme compared to the 457 temporary worker visa.
“From our experience, there are many, great people globally who are willing to earn a lot less than $180k per annum to enjoy the lifestyle opportunity that Australia offers,” he said.
“This program does not support the SMB sector which makes up the large majority of the Australian business landscape.”
Details of the new Temporary Skill Shortage Visa, which includes a short-term, medium-term and labour agreement stream, are available on the website of the Department of Home Affairs.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has previously claimed that businesses rorting the 457 visa system forced the government to shake up the scheme.
Since the abolition of the 457 visa was first announced in April 2017, many business leaders have been left perplexed about how they will cope with their industry being removed from the eligibility of skilled migration visas.
Vocal advocates for skilled migration are Lily Jackson Hair & Makeup owners Jules Peacocke and Amajjika Kumara, who last year told My Business: “We need the foreign workers, 150 per cent, because there [are] very few qualified Australian hairdressers. We have sponsored 457 staff for 15 years.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.