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Atlassian Chief Calls For New Visa Plan For Skilled Workers

Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar has called on the Turnbull Government to introduce a new visa for highly skilled foreign workers. He reckons such a move would help generate jobs in Australia.

Farquhar, pictured, told Australian IT there is a big difference between a 457-type visa for someone helping to fill a specific skill shortage, such as a plumber or a hairdresser, and a visa for a highly skilled tech person who could help train more Australians and create more jobs.

“We need to separate the visa categories between people whose employment here is a zero-sum game and people who are highly skilled overseas, who can come here and help a company grow the industry. All the growth in jobs is coming from fast-growth companies,” he said.

And he summed up: “We need to invest today for the jobs of the future. It doesn’t make sense if we can’t bring these people into Australia.”

It’s estimated that around 25 percent of Atlassian’s Australia-based workforce of about 1000 are on 457 visas.

“Being Australian, I want to make sure Australia can become a global tech hub,” Farquhar said. “I think we can, but it does involve trying to bring some of the best and brightest people from around the world to work here.”

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