Recruiting from overseas
Tasmanian unemployment levels remain at historical lows. As the competition to attract and retain skilled employees becomes more intense, businesses are looking for new sources of skilled labour - including recruiting skilled workers from overseas. Under current immigration policy, employer-sponsored visas are given priority in processing by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).
Sponsoring an employee is not necessarily difficult or costly. As long as the business can offer a skilled full-time position for a certain period of time (a minimum of three months) that cannot be filled by Australian workers, it will be worth considering this option. Please note that employment must be in accordance with prevailing industry standards and awards. Heavy penalties apply to businesses that deliberately exploit or underpay migrants.
Employers can sponsor skilled, English-speaking workers for positions that require a trade certificate, diploma or degree. The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) is a helpful guide to ensuring that the vacancy is a skilled position. Each major group will show the skill level of the occupations and this must fall between levels 1 and 4. Skill level 5 will not be considered by DIAC.
There is no single way or ‘magic wand’ to locate skilled workers from overseas to work for your business. Locating suitable foreign workers is often the biggest challenge when considering the employer-sponsored visa program.
Some options for finding suitable skilled foreign workers include
- advertising positions in target countries/industries through newspapers, industry associations, or professional/trade journals and interviewing or ‘flying out’ promising leads
- using international recruitment consultants or migration agents active in target countries
- participating in recruitment/migration expos in key source countries.
These options can generate outcomes but they are costly and may not succeed unless carefully researched and planned. You can also contact the Business and Skilled Migration unit to see if there is any suitable candidate in the database. No fee applies for this service.
It is a criminal offence to knowingly or recklessly allow an illegal worker to work, or to refer an illegal worker for work. Individuals and companies convicted of these offences face fines and/or imprisonment. If you are convicted of these offences you could face fines of up to $13 200 and/or two years’ imprisonment per illegal worker hired. Companies face fines of up to $66 000 per illegal worker. The safest way to avoid committing the offences is to check that all prospective workers have a valid visa with permission to work in Australia. It is easy to check the work entitlements of a prospective employee using either DIAC’s Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) website service or DIAC’s toll-free Visa Entitlement Verification Faxback Service.
For more information visit www.immi.gov.au/managing-australias-borders/compliance/employer-obligations