While the full effect of the 457 visa changes are yet to be felt, or even understood at this early stage, I can’t help but feel a glimmer of hope for the business community at the ousting of the 20 year old, one size fits all approach to Australia’s skills shortage.

It made sense when the scheme was built in the 90s. It even made some sense a decade ago, but not today.

We aren’t a 100% mining or manufacturing nation anymore; Australia needs a skills based talent pool leading the economy in digital, in tech and more…that’s the future. That’s what we should be supporting.

Dumping the cumbersome 457 visa for the TSS visas, especially in the executive market, is a good thing. I totally acknowledge that it probably won’t suit everyone, that there will be some inconveniences – my business included – but the 457 scheme has been in desperate need of a reboot for years and for that, I am pleased.

The internet is in hyperdrive and a mid-level panic is gripping the nation. A panic feeding on misinformation and knee-jerk hysteria. Frankly I didn’t see many job types on that list that concerned me; as an employer or a recruiter.

I like that it’s going to force employers and the government to really look at training and education, and I also like that visa holders have to prove themselves over three years if they really want to stay in Australia. I like that it’s going to force big businesses, SMEs and multinationals to really think about whether they’ve already got someone working for them and contributing to the economy, who can do that role.

If the government really wants to get creative they could increase tax breaks and support Australians that mobilise their career domestically and also reward Australian companies that hire local talent. This continues to be an issue in solving our talent shortages across the country.

There has been a lot of stimulation around jobs in NSW and Victoria, so I like seeing the federal government (finally) joining the party.

I love that it’s bringing the whole situation up to speed with the rest of the world, and that can’t be a bad thing! The 4 year visa as a standard model for such a wide scope of roles is ridiculous; globally it never made sense. The new two year visa stream is a far better entry point for most.

It is interesting to see the government focused on some tech roles. For years offshore talent has been brought in from many different markets, which is no way to build a sustainable skills base here.

That’s probably got a few people upset. But it’s not going to slow down the tech industry.

The reality is the best talent in tech is already globally mobile; they’re not going anywhere unless there’s a golden opportunity. The TSS visa doesn’t prohibit this, in fact, the two-year visa stream could make it more straight-forward for some.

It’s also worth noting that in Canberra, Border Security and Immigration have collapsed into the one entity. The combined departments are more efficient and more cost effective. However, the four week 457 processing time has blown out past 12 weeks; not ideal for employees or employers.

I understand the negative reactions – People don’t like change. I also appreciate that Turnbull dropped this one out of nowhere (and there are more immigration changes to come). That can rattle some cages and, as is evident, people can and will panic.

Could the changes have gone further? Probably. Will some people be affected adversely? Most likely. Will the economy be negatively affected? I don’t think so. Were changes needed? Definitely.

Overall I think scrapping the 457 and the TSS replacement measures are pretty sensible ideas. With time we might agree that we have moved to a better way of balancing local talent with offshore expertise and the right skillsets for the Future.

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