Global Talent Independent Program

Monday, 04 November 2019

Skilled migration and Global Talent Independent program - Immigration Minister's Address to American Chamber of Commerce in Australia

American Chamber of Commerce in Australia
Subject: Skilled migration and Global Talent Independent programE&OE
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, 
Today I want to talk about a new program that we are launching to aggressively target thebest and the brightest migrants from around the world.The Global Talent Independent program, or GTI, represents a new way of approaching highlyskilled immigration to Australia. 
The Global Talent Independent programme has been allocated up to 5,000 places within our annual programme.Over time, it has the potential to have a transformative impact on the Australian economy. Let’s be clear: we have very big ambitions for the GTI. 
The GTI has one key goal:
- To help build our future prosperity, by attracting to Australia the world’s most highly skilledpeople in the world’s highest growth industries. Through the program we will seek out and recruit highly skilled and talented individuals fromaround the globe - offering them a streamlined, priority visa pathway to work and live permanently in Australia.
We are being deliberately aggressive in this policy area, and will be investing around $13 million over the next three years on its execution.We want people from the best universities and the most successful companies.
We want people with entrepreneurial ideas and deep skill sets, who can drive innovation andcreate local jobs. When highly skilled migrants enter Australian companies, they typically generate ideas that lead to the employment of more Australians. I saw this first hand when I was chairman of ninemsn, the joint venture between Nine and Microsoft. We would often have Microsoft executives from the US suggest new initiatives in the business, and we would then employ more Australians to make those initiatives happen. 
At its most simple level, that is how highly skilled migrants add value to the Australian economy.Applicants will be eligible to be considered for permanent residency under the GTI if theymeet two key criteria:
- They are likely to earn more than $149,000 per year in Australia; and
- They are highly skilled in one of seven key industry sectorsThe benchmark of $149,000 ensures that the program targets truly high-skilled individuals -with an ability to command higher wages in a competitive international field. 
This benchmarkaligns with the Fair Work high income threshold, which is updated annually. Of course, all applicants will be subject to the character, security and integrity checks whichare a fundamental part of our immigration system. 
The second key criteria is skills relevant to high growth industries. There are seven target industries. An applicant will be considered for the GTI if they meet the salary benchmark,and have skills in one of these areas: 
AgTech
Our agricultural sector is renowned the world over, and we want to be renowned for AgTechthe world over too.Australia’s universities, research institutions, farmers, entrepreneurs and businesses areworking together to develop leading technologies to protect and grow our critical Agriculture sector. This is particularly important in the face of record-breaking and persistent drought. Australian innovations in this field include drought-resistant crops, robust irrigation systemsand technology that can predict yields and recommend optimal pastures and stocking density. We want to be a global centre of excellence in this most critical area.
FinTech
Fintech is a fast growing field in Australia, with around 650 businesses from start-ups tolisted companies involved in the sector. KPMG data shows investment in Australian Fintech grew from $53 million US in 2012 toover $675 million in 2016.Technological and regulatory change is shaking up the financial services sector, andAustralian businesses are jumping at the opportunity. Stone & Chalk - one of the great Australian successes in this industry - first opened its doorsin 2015 as the only dedicated Fintech hub in Australia. After just four years of operations, Stone and Chalk now houses more than 680 entrepreneursworking in more than 140 start-ups that have already collectively raised more than AU$ 330million in funding. More than 500 direct new jobs have been created as a result of this growth.
MedTech
The Australian MedTech sector is delivering significant economic benefits and jobs growth,while improving the health and wellbeing of Australians and people around the world. Australia has developed several companies that are world leaders in their fields. And there isa thriving ecosystem of Australian businesses working on the next big breakthroughs. This highly specialised field requires people with complex and ever-changing skills. The new Global Talent program provides the flexibility for businesses like these to employ exceptionally talented people from overseas to further grow their business.
Cyber Security
Evolving technologies require protection, and Cyber security is another rapidly growing sector where there is strong competition for international talent. The unfortunate reality is that cyber security will continue to grow as an industry. We know that there will continue to be attempts to disrupt information systems of all kinds.Australia's cyber security sector has a strong reputation globally and there are already anumber of home-grown cyber security success stories. AustCyber notes that the sector has the potential to almost triple in size in coming years, withrevenues rising from just over $2 billion in 2016 to an expected $6 billion by 2026. We need to attract the right people to support this rapid expansion, while our home growntalent pipeline is being established by Australian education institutions.
Quantum Information, Advanced Digital, Data Science and ICT
Deloitte Access Economics predicts demand for technology workers to grow by 100,000 by 2024 – with digital technologies to be worth almost $140 billion by next year. Data Scientists and Product Managers in this field are in critical demand, and supply is notkeeping up. There is strong international competition in quantum computing - technology that has thepotential to transform the information economy and create the industries of the future.The ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology –Led by Laureate Fellow and 2018 Australian of the Year Professor Michelle Simmons - is focused on delivering world-leading quantum research to develop full-scale quantumsystems. Funded by the Australian Government, it is international collaboration between sevenAustralian universities and more than 25 partners, to form one of the largest combined effortsin quantum computation and communication research in the world.Sophisticated ICT skills will only become more important over time, and we want to positionAustralia at the forefront of this industry.
Space and Advanced Manufacturing
In September, the Prime Minister announced a $150 million investment in Australianbusinesses and new technologies to support NASA’s campaign to return to the Moon andtravel to Mars. It will make Australian businesses more competitive in international space supply chains andincrease Australia’s share in a growing US$350 billion global space market. Australia’s space sector will triple in size to $12 billion to create around 20,000 extra jobs by2030 – some of which will need to be filled by highly skilled individuals from overseas.
Energy and Mining Technology
Australia’s energy and mining industry is a world leader when it comes to driving down costsand increasing operational efficiencies. A new report from accounting firm EY says that over the next five years, more than three quarters of jobs in Australia’s mining industry will be enhanced or redesigned by technology, increasing productivity by up to 23%. The ability to harness new innovations and technologies, which Australia is well placed to lead, will have the potential to improve the safety, productivity and competitiveness of the sector over the coming decades and to provide a range of exportableproducts and services.
As a leader in the development of knowledge, technology and practices for the resources sector, Australia can export its research, development and intellectual property to the world. 
I’ve explained the criteria for a person to be eligible to apply under the GTI. Simply put, theywill need to be highly skilled in one of our seven key target areas, and they will need to besomeone who can command a benchmark salary of at least $149k. They will of course alsohave to pass our character, security and integrity checks. But how will we find and attract these people in a highly competitive global market? Firstly, I have deployed a team of Global Talent Officers in key locations around the world.Global Talent Officers are already located in Berlin, Washington DC, Singapore, Shanghai,Santiago, and Dubai, and will have regional coverage. An officer has also started in New Delhi today, to further the reach of the program.
The job of Global Talent Officers is to find the people I have described today, and seek torecruit them to come to Australia.This direct overseas recruitment effort of highly skilled individuals is the first of its kind inAustralia’s immigration program.The officers will work with our Austrade presence in these regions, including the Austrade landing pads, which lend themselves to using in-country networks and contacts.They are already working with the world’s top universities and professional associations tomarket the GTI to exceptional candidates. Once they are identified, applicants will have a dedicated Home Affairs contact to guide themthrough the process, and applications will receive the highest priority processing. Complete applications will be processed in weeks, not months. Successful applicants will be granted permanent residency and be able to live and workanywhere in Australia. 
This is a compelling proposition, and we will use it to attract the world’s most highly skilledmigrants to Australia. The GTI has the potential to have an immense positive impact on the Australian economy. By bringing the very best and brightest in key growth sectors to Australia, we will help to growthe Australian businesses of the future. We want high growth businesses to stay in Australia,not move overseas in search of global talent. We want the high growth businesses oftomorrow to be based right here, growing their businesses locally, so that they can employ more Australians in the high wage jobs of the future.In time, I believe that we will look back on the Global Talent Initiative as having beenfundamental to the success of our nation.
Source: Migration Alliance 05 November 2019

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