Adland thrown government lifeline, with four-year visas to help cover skills shortage

The Media Federation of Australia (MFA) and Communications Council have welcomed the introduction of a five-year labour agreement for the advertising industry.

Under the Advertising Industry Labour Agreement (AILA), approved businesses in the industry will be able to sponsor overseas workers for roles that cannot be filled by the local market.

MFA CEO Sophie Madden said while the industry supports the local market, we didn’t have the numbers to properly resource the industry.

“The Australian advertising industry strongly supports Australian jobs first. But if we’re to maintain our status as one of the top advertising countries around the world, we need to be able to access the best-experienced talent to cover skill shortages that we can’t either grow or have available here,” Madden said.

The labour agreement will last for five years

Communications Council CEO Tony Hale agreed, stating that the MFA and Communications Council had found an “industry-wide answer to a very complex problem”.

We are all very excited to have reached this agreement with the Department of Home Affairs and would like to thank them for working with us to develop a solution that allows the industry to continue to compete effectively and grow,” Hale said.

The Department of Home Affairs will oversee the AILA, which will include approving individual company labour agreements and visa applications. There will be a cap of 300 approved visas per year under the labour agreement.

The MFA and Communications Council will have a joint role managing the pre-vetting process to ensure advertising agencies looking to sponsor foreign talent meet all criteria. Employers must ensure at least 75% of their workforce is Australian and offer a minimum salary of $85,000 to sponsored workers.

There are five roles eligible for visas, including: advertising specialist, graphic designer, copywriter, multimedia designer and web developer.

In 2017, the government replaced the 457 visa with a new temporary skills shortage visa. In March 2018, a joint MFA and Communications Council report revealed that since the change, there had been an increase in advertising vacancy rates and staff workload.


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