Peter Verwer on Global Business and Talent Attraction

World Trade and Talent Attraction Taskforce was born during the dark days of COVID-19 and had four jobs. The first was to harvest the world’s brightest minds and talents in the sectors and technologies of the future. The second consisted of doing the same with pioneering firms.

The third was to make the case for a smarter regulatory environment – ​​pro-business, pro-research and pro-risk-taking. The end job was to make a bold, throaty case for Australia to the rest of the world.

Visas are applications to move talent capital from other countries to Australia.

The Global Talent visa was designed to give Australia a competitive advantage in attracting talent by offering permanent residency and fast processing. Visa applicants must demonstrate that they are exceptional and can help boost Australia’s prosperity.

Getting talented people on planes to Australia. Photo credit: Eigenblau /

Is it difficult to assess whether people are exceptionally talented? No more than evaluating someone for a job. Additionally, there are built-in safeguards, as individuals must still pass character, medical and security tests, all of which are assessed by Home Office officials, not the task force.

Over 20,000 Global Talent visas have been issued since the start-up phase of the program. This includes partners and children, which is another reason talented people love this visa.

The program could easily have tripled the number of visas issued. However, the aim was to attract exceptional people who could work with local Australian talent to reap the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

By accelerating the growth of smart ecosystems, the nation can provide greater choice of local jobs and stem the brain drain.

That’s why the task force has also engaged pioneering global companies and employers rather than waiting for random companies to knock on our national door.

Is it picking winners? I would say it’s more like inviting winners. Our approach was to speak directly with Australia’s global attractions CEOs and explore critical investment issues, such as government policies, taxes, incentives, research centers and access to a workforce. qualified work.

This is where a task force that works hand-in-hand with multiple federal government agencies and regulators as well as all states and territories can help expedite business decisions.

The result has been thousands of new Industry 4.0 jobs and many more will be announced in the coming months.

Direct engagement has also led to a better understanding of outdated rules and regulations that hamper Australia’s international competitiveness.

The task force has successfully championed reforms to employee stock ownership plan tax rules, long a bug of entrepreneurs, especially startups.

He also went to bat for a 30% tax offset for digital games. Canada’s digital games industry is 22 times larger than Australia’s and generates a creative talent pipeline that fuels its digital economy. Since July 1, Australia has been just as attractive.

Many of the policy issues addressed by the task force dealt with regulatory pinch points. There are thousands of government rules that never anticipated decentralized finance or clean energy transmission, not to mention the revolutions in quantum computing, AI, cyberscience, and nanotechnology.

There is still a lot of work to do here, especially with a new federal government looking to deliver on an ambitious agenda.

A starting point would be a fundamental reform of the 1,800 different grant programs that make up Australis’ $70 billion in business and research incentives.

Finally, the task force launched, a website that promotes Australia as an attractive destination for talent, capital and ideas.

Check out the ticker at the top of the website’s homepage, which showcases Australia as a global innovator in dozens of arenas. Or explore women in STEM programs and many of the extraordinary stories of female researchers, industry pioneers, and inventors featured on the website.

A video gallery of the country’s great (mostly unsung) inventors and a guide to over 3,000 research and innovation centers will be added in the coming days. You can also check out the profiles of recent talent visa recipients that any country would give their teeth to ensnare.

The Taskforce operated like a startup. He experimented with new approaches to entrenched problems.

Above all, he has driven a clear strategy to help build forward-looking ecosystems with global talent, pioneering businesses and telling the world of Australia’s incredible success stories.

There is a tremendous drive to make the most of a new federal government and a new era of opportunity. The task force’s many successes provide the impetus for even greater efforts on all fronts.

Peter Verwer AO recently retired as Special Envoy for Global Affairs and Talent Attraction and Deputy Secretary at the Home Office. The current working group ends on June 30.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley by email.

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