PRIA wants migration reform for skilled workers

The Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) has launched the Migration Taskforce, advocating for migration reform to provide relief to the communication and PR industry’s entrenched skills shortage.

The Taskforce will advocate for the National Skills Commission to include communications and PR professionals on the Long-Term Strategic Skills List, allowing permanent residency for migrants.

With supporters from 15 communications agencies, the Taskforce seeks to change Australia’s migration settings.

Shane Allison

PRIA president, Shane Allison, said increasing demand for communications and PR skills during COVID-19 has proven the industry an important part to establish trust, understanding and knowledge between organisations and stakeholders.

“This demand has placed unprecedented strain on our industry, and while we have risen to the occasion, it is clear that we need higher levels of skilled migration to plug the gap of experienced professionals and help mentor the next generation of communicators.”

He also said addressing the lack of PR and communications skills on Long-Term Strategic Skills List will make Australia a more desirable destination for skilled communicators.

“This Taskforce will not only help tackle our immediate skills crisis, but also play a critical role in bringing skilled professionals who can train and mentor the next generation of communicators who are currently training in our higher education institutions.

“We’ve written to the Immigration Minister Giles to ask for their support of our industry and look forward to engaging with the review of the Skilled Occupations List that was funded in this year’s Federal Budget.”

The National Skills Commission’s Internet Vacancy index demonstrated an 82% increase in vacancies for PR Professionals from pre-COVID-19 (January 2020) to April 2022, and a 183% increase over the past decade.

The PRIA has engaged EY to model the skills gaps across our occupation and to highlight the economic contribution of the PR profession.

The Migration Taskforce’s supporters include Sling & Stone; Herd MSL; Red Havas; Thrive PR; WE Communications; Ogilvy PR; Sefiani; The Haus; History Will Be Kind; Icon Agency; Porter Novelli; BCW; Agenda C; Salt & Shein and The Savage Company


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