457 visa policy angst triggers skills audit

prototype-australia-migrants-1000The Australian Prime Minister announced the end of the skilled migration 457 visa this week. Couched in ‘Aussies first’ rhetoric, the announcement may not be all that it appears.

Although highly skilled talent is vital in the race among the international knowledge economies, and although industry and academia are desperate for more details, perhaps the 457 program is actually just getting a makeover.

While we lament the loss of talent influx of deer farmers, shoemakers and turf growers from the nominated skills list, the academic and tech communities have started a robust discussion about whether the skills and researchers they need are possible in Australia. Vocal contributors like Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes and USyd quantum physicist Michael Biercuk are asking important questions.

The outcome may just be much greater visibility of where the gaps in our long-term technology and innovation skills supply chain really are.

Read more: SMH / ABC / The Conversation / SBS / AFR

Image: An earlier wave of migrants embark in Italy for their voyage to Australia, 1954. ANMM / public domain

This story is taken from the 21 April 2017 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.