The overwhelming majority of CIOs support the government’s pilot Global Talent Scheme (GTS) visa program, which began in July.
That’s according to a survey by specialist recruiters Robert Half, which found 93 per cent of chief information officers support the scheme.
The announcement of the GTS program came in the wake of criticism ofAustralia’s migration regime by tech companiesfollowing the removal of the 457 temporary visa class.
Speaking at a Senate Select Committee earlier this year, Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes said the scrapping of 457s had “hurt us directly” and “said to the global tech industry, we are fundamentally closed for business”.
The GTS programme – being piloted until July next year – sits under the broader Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa scheme but has fewer restrictions attached than standard TSS visas.
“This scheme is designed to facilitate businesses accessing top talent from around the world,” then citizenship and multicultural affairs minister Alan Tudge said at the time.
According to the survey, released today, a little over half (56 per cent) of the CIOs questioned believed the GTS will succeed in reducing the IT skills shortage in Australia. A similar number said it would help increase productivity.
Unsurprisingly, 58 per cent of the 160 CIOs surveyed believed the scheme would increase the demand for international IT professionals.
“The Global Talent Scheme is a welcome initiative for IT employers, enabling them easier access to top international talent, allowing them to become better equipped to innovate with new technologies and compete on a global stage. And that, undoubtedly, will be a catalyst for faster business growth,” said Robert Half APAC managing director David Jones.
Most CIOs said (86 per cent) that compared to five years ago it had become much harder to both source and attract qualified IT professionals to work for their organisations.
Some have already blamed that on the diminishing appeal of Australia to those living overseas.
“It’s a bit hard to build a technology industry when every second 20-year-old wants to leave because you’ve turned the place into a bumpkin country town,” Freelancer CEO Matt Barrieonce said.
Many companies are providing incentives to those they want to make the move to Australian shores.
Of those surveyed 64 per cent offered financial relocation packages, 61 per cent touted family benefits, 58 per cent offered lifestyle benefits, 51 per cent an increased salary and half gave housing subsidies.
“In a competitive market, it can be equally challenging to attract the right talent once they’ve been identified – wherever they are in the world. As more companies compete for the best international talent, companies need to offer tailored incentives,” Jones said.
“Focusing on salary is important, but it’s equally crucial for companies to ensure their incentives are up-to-date and in line with competitor offerings and industry standards,” he added.
The most common tech roles for which Australian IT executives would look overseas to fill were in IT security, IT management, business analysis, networking and database management.