Overhaul Impact on ICT Technical Support

Australia is planning to overhaul its visa program. In the proposed changes, TSS visa program will be comprised of two classes: Short and medium term. The short-term visa class will cover an overseas worker for two years while the medium-term will do the same for a period of four years. The medium-term visa class will be a reserve of the more significant skills shortages. In addition, all applicants will have to undergo tightened English language tests as well as work experience. The applicants must have a clean criminal record and not older than 45 years of age. The new scheme will see the reduction of 200 job groups. These include ICT technical support, electronic engineering technician, test engineers, web developers, telecommunications technicians and cable jointers.

TSS Visa Holders’ Jobs

Under the fresh program the TSS visa holders can still hold posts like chief information officer, chief executive officer, managing director and computer systems and networks engineer. Others include developer/programmer, database administrator, trainers, Security specialists, ICT systems test engineer and software tester. They can also work as systems administrator, software engineer, telecommunications linesworker, telecommunications engineer, telecommunications technical officer, web designer and administrator among others.

Australian Workers to Get First Priority

Last year, the communications workers’ union criticized the job advertisements that had been placed in Ireland seeking to recruit workers for the National Broadband Network’s rollout. The new visa program will see such jobs given to Australian workers on a priority basis. The Department that is in charge of Border protection/Immigration released a statement explaining that the fresh visa forms part of the reform package by the government. The reform package is aimed at intensifying the quality and integrity of the provisional and unending employer supported expert immigration programs in Australia. Turnbull spoke on the ABC RN Breakfast show on Wednesday and revealed plans of starting a national fund, which will be funded by businesses. The businesses will be required to pay a prescribed fee for every visa-holding employee to the fund and the same will be used to train Australian workers to curb the skills shortages.

Visa Charges

Under the new scheme, visa charges are expected to be in the regions of AU$1,200 for Short-Term whereas the Medium-Term stream will attract AU$2,400 according to the prime minister. The fresh levy is highly expected to be introduced in the federal Budget coming up next month. The prime minister explained on 2GB that if the skills that Atlassian will be seeking would not be filled by the locals then the new system will enable such vacancies to be filled by people from other countries. Turnbull has unveiled a new slogan, “Putting Australian Workers First”, which is being compared to the speech by US President Donald Trump during his inauguration. Turnbull insisted that every leader should aspire to put their people at the forefront.

Displeasure in Some Quarters

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) expressed its displeasure with the government’s plans to overhaul the visa program. A high number of its member companies usually rely on the flow of the 457 skilled visa migrants who help in meeting the short-term skills shortage demand in Australia. It was expected that the consultation process as well as the accompanying discussion paper would tackle a number of concerns. These included third-party backing, nomination procedure, length of visa extension, duration of stay and if an individual can be granted permanent residency if their novelty become a success.

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