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Australia will now headhunt tech talent for permanent residency

The federal government will conspicuously ramp-up its efforts to attract senior technology leaders, researchers’ developers and experts to permanently migrate to Australia under a newly established scheme which actively seeks out talent, rather than waiting for it to come knocking.

Dubbed the ‘global talent independent program’ (GTIP) and quietly launched in June, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman is expected to flesh out crucial details about how the migrant headhunting model will work, including which sectors and industries will get a say.

The program will sit separately to the ‘global talent – employer sponsored program’ (GTES), which was made permanent after a 12-month pilot.

According to Home Affairs, the GTIP scheme is “designed to attract skilled migrants at the top of their profession to Australia. The program will bring the best talent from around the world.”

“This will create opportunities for Australians by transferring skills and creating job opportunities. We will promote this program in Australia and overseas,” Home Affairs material states.

They will also “work with local industries to identify talented people” and “attend key industry events and expos, and promote life in Australia,” a move that appears to apply destination marketing principles to the permanent migration market.

The use of permanent residency and potentially citizenship is a major shift in thinking around attracting technologists and high-tech industries to Australia.

The outbound marketing effort is effectively an admission that existing efforts for skilled permanent migration are insufficient to maintain an inflow of talent to digitise existing industries and create sustainable new sectors around fields like robotics, advanced physics and quantum computing.

With a chronic tech skills shortage in some pockets like AI, data analytics and machine learning and mass redundancies flowing across superseded tech skillsets, industry as well as Coleman will be hoping the migration wonks get it right this time.


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