21 August 2008

Australia needs accountants on temporary work visas

Senator Evans has this week been urged to relax restrictions on the temporary 457 visa to cope with demands for accountants and finance professionals, reports the Age.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) released figures last month which show that 110,570 temporary Australian work visas were granted in the year 2007-08, which is an increase of 23,260 visas.  Of these visas, around 10,000 were granted to accountants and finance professionals, reports the news provider.

However, finance organisations are concerned that the restrictions of the temporary working visa are creating holes in the workforce and preventing financial institutions from reaching their market potential.  The financial industry is also suffering from high demand and a lack of industry-specific graduates.

"Employers in Australia have to cast a wider net to bring talent in - or back in - to the country," said Select Accountancy General Manager Suzanne Boyd. 

"A collective effort to attract and retain talent, particularly accounting and finance professionals in Australia, will help all employers and take some much needed pressure off the sector," she added.

According to the 2008 Vedior Asia Pacific employment trends survey, more than 80 per cent of financial institutions are having to head-hunt middle-level and junior staff for their companies (a technique traditionally reserved for attracting executives). 

Senator Chris Evans, Minister for the DIAC, has praised his department for the improved processing of temporary 457 visas.

"Earlier this year, I directed the department to clear a backlog of about 13,000 temporary skilled migration visa applications on hand since March, many of which were outside the acceptable standards for processing," Senator Evans said.

"Applications for temporary skilled visas are now being processed faster and more efficiently at three new dedicated Centres of Excellence established in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne to deal with increasing demand by Australian companies for overseas workers to meet skills shortages."

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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