CIOs around Australia have given the government’s Global Talent Scheme visa their nod of approval.

The GTS visa allows local businesses to bring in experienced ICT professionals from overseas.

It was introduced in July of this year as a pilot following the controversial axing of the 457 visa in April.

Recruitment firm Robert Half interviewed 160 chief information and technology officers from companies across Australia and found 93% of them believed the new scheme would have a positive impact.

The company found that as the war for IT talent battles on, Australian businesses are coming under increasing pressure to hire professionals from overseas.

In March, Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder of Aussie success story Atlassian, said Australia’s skilled immigration program needed a rethink.

“Lack of access to experienced, global talent is the single biggest factor constraining the growth of the technology industry in Australia,” he said.

“For my view, we’re thinking about skilled immigration completely backwards.”

Skills shortage never more prominent

The majority (86%) of CIOs say it’s now more challenging to source qualified IT professionals, compared to five years ago.

“As the technology sector continues to evolve at a rapid pace, demand for the necessary skills continues to outpace supply in the local market. Unless we can access more talent – whether local or international – more easily, Australia’s business sector is at risk of being left behind in the global technology race,” said David Jones, Senior Managing Director of Robert Half, Asia Pacific.

“The Global Talent Scheme is a welcome initiative for IT employers, enabling them easier accessto top international talent, allowing them to become better equipped to innovate with new technologies and compete on a global stage. And that, undoubtedly, will be a catalyst for faster business growth.”

Almost eight in 10 (78%) CIOs agreed contract workers provide a viable solution to Australia’s IT skills shortage.

“A flexible mix of temporary and permanent workers gives companies access to a much larger talent pool, especially for IT workers.

“Contract and temporary workers have the advantage of guaranteeing business continuity, upskilling existing staff and optimising staffing cost-efficiencies,” said Jones.

Has the GTS visa been used by your company to bring in skilled workers from overseas? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.