A new taskforce led by former Property Council chief Peter Verwer has been launched to attract promising FinTech and advanced manufacturing firms to Australia, as the federal government seeks ways to attract the best and brightest global innovators.
The federal government last week unveiled its Global Business and Talent Attraction Taskforce, sitting within the Home Affairs department, which will actively seek out foreign companies and entrepreneurs and entice them to relocate to Australia with streamlined pathways to residency and bespoke advice.
It follows another announcement last week that software engineers, among other occupations, will be able to access fast-tracked visas and bypass Australia’s current border restrictions in order to fill local skills gaps.
The taskforce will be specifically targeting companies and talent in the advanced manufacturing, FinTech and health sectors, especially in the US, UK, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Businesses with an investment scale of more than $250 million, capacity to create more than 250 new jobs and an ability to fill local gaps in skills and supply chains will be given preference.
The taskforce will be able to offer a streamlined pathway to permanent residency, bespoke advice on how and where to relocate, industry-specific contacts, and an end-to-end service with one point of contact.
The Coalition is pitching the efforts to bring companies and highly-skilled workers from around the world to Australia as a job creation exercise that can assist with the country’s COVID-19 economic recovery.
“Australia has always been an attractive destination for talent and investment, but given our relative success economically, from a health perspective, and socially, we will be even more attractive,” acting immigration minister Alan Tudge said.
“We want to capitalise on this and be very focused on attracting key businesses and global super talent to Australia. This will aid our recovery and boost jobs for Australians.”
The whole-of-government taskforce will include secondees from Home Affairs, Austrade, Treasury, Foreign Affairs and Trade, Industry, state and territory governments and various industry leaders.
While the full taskforce members are yet to be revealed, former Property Council of Australia boss and current startup think tank Fractal IQ executive chair Peter Verwer will be its head after being named the Prime Minister’s special envoy for Global Business and Talent Attract.
While at the Property Council in the 1990s, Mr Verwer recruited current Prime Minister Scott Morrison as a lobbyist for the organisation.
The government has previously announced fast-tracked visas and border restriction exemptions for 17 occupations, including software engineers, developer programmers and mechanical engineers.
Home Affairs has also recently announced plans to actively try to attract foreign talent and companies to Australia as part of the Global Talent Employer Sponsored program.