Victoria appeals for reforms to Australian skilled migration

The state Government of Victoria is lobbying the Federal Government to introduce significant reforms to skilled migration programs in order to give local tech companies better access to global tech talent.

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas has written to the federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Population Minister Alan Tudge calling for reforms to skilled migration visa policies in order to address a growing skills gap in the state and around Australia.

Pallas says that tech companies across Australia have been struggling to combat the growing skills gap, with many forced to look overseas for specific roles. Earlier this month, the federal government made a trial visa program which aims to help tech companies attract skilled overseas workers permanent.

The Global Talent-Employer Sponsored program offers fast-tracked visas for up to four years for skilled tech roles, with a permanent residency pathway.

However, there are still a number of issues with the scheme, including the high costs for start-up businesses and a requirement to advertise for the position locally for several months.

The federal government also recently launched a fast-tracked migration stream for highly-skilled global talent, which will see Austrade actively trying to attract overseas workers to Australia.

But the Victorian government wants the federal government to do more to help local companies compete for global talent.

“If we want Victoria to grow, then it is vital we have the skilled workforce to match. The most innovative local businesses and multinationals are doing what they can to recruit and develop talent locally, but when it comes to bringing in additional skilled workers, they say the visa process is time-consuming and expensive,” Mr Pallas told

“We look forward to working with the federal government on how we can better fix skill shortages, including re-introducing the option for states to request expedited visa processing for major projects.”

The Victorian government also wants a visa and skilled migration working group to be established as part of the federal Treasurer’s Population Forum.

The Forum, which met for the first time in February this year, involves all levels of government discussing how to ‘better plan for Australia’s changing population.’

Article published 28th August 2019