Background

On the 18th April, 2017 the APSCo Australia Managing Director announced the Association’s campaign to assist Member companies to engage more effectively with the global workforce in order to meet the needs of the skills challenges being highlighted in segments of professional talent. View the video APSCo Australia maintains a consistent voice to Government with respect to immigration and the visa process. The Association’s Business Intelligence Program responds to all reviews of the Skilled Occupation Lists as well as providing supporting data for on hire labour agreement applications and for many Federal and State Government agencies when they are preparing forward talent projections. APSCo Australia acknowledges long time frames are required to train and develop specialised skills and skilled migration has been the classical solution but, with our increased barriers to entry for overseas talent and the globalisation of the workforce, Australia is competing with other developed nations, and often found wanting.

APSCo Australia’s Position Statement

Understand Short Term Needs

To deliver on key business and government projects there is a need to consider immediate talent demands that cannot be filled locally.

A visa process needs to be structured that recognises the short turnaround needed for highly skilled talent in a global marketplace.

This talent is not to replace local jobs but to ensure local projects can go ahead with both local and international skills in place. We need to be able to compete on the global stage for talent in the digital economy and, where necessary, engage overseas talent to facilitate and lead as well as educate.

Address the Anomalies in the Visa Programs

There needs to be a separation between the labour sourced for semi-skilled roles (Seasonal Worker Programs) and highly skilled talent needed to drive innovation and major infrastructure projects of Governments and corporate Australia.

The current process for the professional staffing sector is anti-competitive on the world stage, cumbersome in its execution and not suited to the needs of the fast-paced digital economy in which professional talent is engaged.

Provide Evidence of the Supply & Demand Challenge

Governments investment in infrastructure coupled with the private sector’s investment in transformation projects has resulted in increased demand for talent across many specialisms. This demand is outstripping broader jobs growth and, in a tightening market, it is important to source overseas talent in the short term.

Forward predictions suggest Government and private sector hiring intentions are at their highest levels in more than five years.

Current reports suggest there will be a high demand for, and short supply of, local talent in a number of highly specialised roles – as the Australian supply is already actively engaged in work. Examples include: Cyber Security, DevOps specialists, Civil Design Engineers, Business Intelligence and Data Analytics, Digital Transformation, Specialist in robotics and artificial intelligence.

Of greater significance is the consistent reporting of new skill requirements that go beyond occupations, focussing on emerging skills which have not yet made it into job classifications.

Partnerships to Achieve Long Term Goals

APSCo Australia is keen to work with Government to address the changing shape of the labour market through the acknowledgement of the role of the digital economy and automation.

APSCo Australia asks decision makers to recognise that there is not a large enough pool of highly skilled technical talent in Australia to support business and Government as they move to leverage the digital economy and automation in the race for global talent.

APSCo Australia is keen to be the partner with business and Government to ensure the right processes and structures are in place to recruit, validate, manage and support this rapidly evolving labour force.

APSCo Australia is committed to the World Economic Forum’s position: Towards a Reskilling Revolution – A Future of Jobs for All.  The Association is keen to collaborate with interested parties to develop initiatives to deliver outcomes highlighted in this study.

APSCo Australia would embrace the opportunity to work collaboratively with the public sector, business and the education sector to inform and develop a “digital age” education program that aligns with emerging roles.