AIIA welcomes revisions to skilled visa reform

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 05 July, 2017

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The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) has welcomed the government’s decision to add a range of specific ICT specialist positions to the list of approved occupations for temporary skilled work visas.

The new additions to the list of approved applications for the four-year visa class previously known as 457 visas include ICT business analysts, systems analysts, developer programmers, software engineers and software and application programmers.

The list also includes network and systems engineers, telecoms systems, network and field engineers and technologists.

AIIA CEO Rob Fitzpatrick said the revisions to the list “address the critical skills shortages that exist in cybersecurity, cloud and data, analytics and other ICT related areas”.

He also welcomed the government’s move of CIOs and CEOs into the four-year visa class, instead of the more restrictive short-term visas which are valid for only up to two years and have no avenue for gaining permanent residency.

“Combined with the option to apply for onshore renewal and permanent residency after three years, this alleviates some of the nervousness candidates for senior roles have with short-term roles and makes Australian-based positions more attractive,” he said.

“After extensive consultation with industry, the government has acknowledged that Australian businesses need access to global talent to remain internationally competitive.”

He said ICT represents Australia’s fastest growing sector, with a growth rate of 2% per annum compared to 1.4% for the overall workplace.

The government’s recently announced decision to abolish 457 skilled work visas was met with consternation from the ICT sector, with the AIIA at the time warning that the move could undermine the “urgent need to fill critical shortages now in jobs demanding cybersecurity, cloud and data and analytics related skills”.

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