Telecoms and I.T.
We don’t have all the homegrown skills we need to build a modern I.T. infrastructure and digital economy in Australia. A practical temporary visa is needed.
If our nascent hi-tech industries cannot bring the talent to the work, then they will take the work to the talent. They will either move offshore, or they will simply send the work to those locations via the internet.
While any attempt to up-skill Australians has to be applauded, where are our youth going to learn modern workplace skills if the high-tech industry has abandoned Australia?
Let’s hope that the new visa regime is developed, fully aware of these possible industry responses to an overly restrictive approach.
Defense Industry Skills Needs
We are about to see massive growth in our defence industry. Projects to build submarines, warships, and land vehicles are in startup phase now and some will last decades.
These projects will apply leading-edge technology and employ thousands of Australians, but once again, we will have to bring in experts to fill knowledge voids and transfer intellectual property to us.
An overly restrictive visa regime may result in delays and budget blow-outs together with lost Australian jobs. All at the taxpayer’s expense.
Projects such as the multi-billion dollar Metro rail tunnel in Melbourne will be another knowledge magnet and major employment boost.
The companies building it will have no choice but to import experts with some of the necessary skills and experience. If the new visa rules make this difficult and expensive, delays and cost overruns will result.
A Rational Immigration Policy is a Vital Component of Australia’s Economic Success
Let’s hope that populist political announcements are followed by a rational and balanced execution.
Certainly, some of the qualifying professions for 457 visas were laughably inappropriate, but Australian industry needs to import vital skills or fall behind.
Our education system has clearly failed us. Not enough emphasis has been placed on STEM subjects and this will take years to fix. Meanwhile, we must welcome people who can help us raise our game.