This site uses cookies to provide you with a more responsive and personalised service. By using this site you agree to our use of cookies. Please read our cookie notice for more information on the cookies we use and how to delete or block them.

Print page

Skilled migrants can support business growth

Using the short-term work visa to plug the skills gap

There is a large gap between global demand for Australian exports and the supply of people, including immigrants, to meet that demand. The result will be upward pressure on wages and swings in the availability of particular skills. In this environment, businesses that can hire the right people from overseas will profit.

With some developed economies in stress, there is an opportunity to entice highly valued workers to leave depressed markets for Australia.

The Government will have to balance an economy which has key sectors and regions that desperately need workers with an electorate that has mixed feelings about migrants.

Section 4 of Where is your worker? examines:

  • Bridging the immigration gap
  • Importing people not services
  • Do migrants steal jobs?
  • Policy opening the way
  • Reflecting on the business opportunity
  • Case study: Health sector struggling with doctor accreditation barriers
Recruiting Recruiting talent early to overcome the demographic gapGet full report

Reflections on the business opportunities

  • How thoroughly have you considered which skills your business should “own” and which it makes more sense to “rent”?
  • In what ways does your value proposition for overseas employees extend beyond money to emphasise Australia’s community and lifestyle factors and work life-balance?
  • What are you doing to tap into highly skilled workforces looking to leave depressed markets such as Ireland, the UK and the U.S.A.?
  • What investment have you made in infrastructure and programs to support global mobility?
  • Have you explored enterprise migration agreements, regional Australia migration initiatives, or considered salary packaging and soft benefits for migrating workers?
  • What are you doing to stay abreast of the migration strategies your competitors are exploring or implementing?
  • What are you doing to attract and keep immigrants in Australia, such as establishing wider community networks and support for extended family?


Health sector struggling with doctor accreditation barriers

The heath sector would benefit significantly if the Government removed unnecessary barriers to entry for skilled migrant workers while still maintaining quality care. When this balance is not maintained, this can create both immediate and long-term recruitment issues for the sector.

A district health service in Queensland, for example, could not find an Australian doctor to provide medical specialist services, so it advertised overseas. However, the hospital recruitment officer had to apologise in advance to potential recruits because the approval process for an overseas-trained doctor takes up to 18 months.

Delays are caused by a range of factors including Federal visa processing, the “Five Year Overseas Trained Doctor Scheme” or other Federal recruitment program processing, the Australian Medical Council registration processes and the State or hospital’s own signoff arrangements. Government needs to work with industry and professional partners to streamline the process, where a need exists.

Such delays are frustrating for specialists who have the qualifications and skills to work anywhere internationally. They are equally frustrating for hospitals with substantial workforce shortages. Many highly qualified specialists have withdrawn applications as a result. class of visa that fits between the existing 456 and 457 categories to allow highly valued prospective workers to leave depressed markets overseas in order to come to Australia for 6 to 12 months. Alternatively, the Government could consider temporarily allowing such workers to come to Australia without a visa.

Population: Where is your next worker?


Recruiting talent early to overcome the skills gap
Recruiting graduates early in their education will help combat the looming demographic gap as the workforce ages and retires and the number of graduates in Australia decreases.  

Crowdsourcing workforce talent and skills 
Mass collaboration in our increasingly connected world creates opportunities for businesses to work outside traditional corporate and geographic boundaries and radically rethink how they access skills, including from ‘the crowd’.



Offshoring services to support growth and competiveness
Offshoring is an option for businesses to overcome the looming skills gap as Australia as a high wage, high productivity nation cannot compete with wage costs in developing countries.

Talk to us

Where is your next worker?

Video [03:35]

Where is your next worker? addresses the positive actions business and government can take to maintain momentum in the face of a looming national skills shortage


Follow us


Talk to us