Helping your business sponsor overseas workers

25 July 2022

Sponsoring overseas workers can be a complicated process, which is why the Victorian Chamber provides tailored migration and visa services to members

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Victorian businesses consistently tell the Victorian Chamber that sourcing and retaining staff is a challenge that impacts their performance, with ongoing skills shortages exacerbated by low unemployment rates and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help businesses with recruitment, the Victorian Chamber can help:

  • Determine your organisation’s eligibility to sponsor overseas skilled workers
  • Ensure both you and your potential employees understand the legal obligations
  • Prepare documents and lodge nomination and visa applications
  • Monitor the entire application process
  • Liaise with, and respond to immigration authorities
  • Keep up to date with immigration changes
  • Understand legislation, policies, and procedures and how to deal with other relevant migration and visa issues.

Case study

As a poultry breeder and supplier, Specialised Breeders Australia (SBA) supplies high-quality livestock to the Australian egg industry. Despite its strong contribution to Victoria’s regional employment, with approximately 180 staff, it recently faced its own challenges.

In 2021, certain key administration roles became more difficult to find. Its finance and administration team was expanding and experiencing challenges finding people and then keeping up with rapidly changing salary expectations.

The life-changing impact of Covid-19 meant people were also re-thinking their career and job opportunities.

“The skills shortage is significant, and it is impacting so many industries. Businesses are struggling to get enough people to open their doors in some cases,” Katie Meadows, SBA Corporate Services and HR Manager, said.

“We have experienced a double impact in areas of the business where growth is occurring during a big labour shortage.

“In addition, the market value for many roles has increased considerably, making it important to stay close to market expectations or risk losing strong talent. So, it hasn’t just been a skills shortage, it’s been a steep learning curve!”

The Victorian Chamber helped SBA to sponsor two skilled roles, including a member of its finance team and a technical poultry role (which is in its final stages).

Both roles are critical to operations, which were unable to be filled locally. One of VCCI’s specialist immigration agents assisted with the process.

“It would not have been possible to sponsor these roles without a partner like the Chamber!" Ms Meadows said.

“We do not have the internal skills and experience to navigate migration laws and requirements.

“By partnering with the Victorian Chamber, we had a migration specialist on the other end of the phone answering our questions and guiding us each step of the way.”

SBA notes post Covid-19 people are thinking differently about how they work. With high competition for workers, employers have had to re-think the way they recruit.

“What used to work doesn’t work anymore. This has affected jobs across the board.

“Recruitment still happens, but it is harder and less efficient. It is unusual for us to have to re-advertise for a role, but there have been times where we were unable to fill a vacancy and had to start again.

“Traditionally, labour hire agencies have been a good source of additional farm workers. But the shortage has also dried up this available pool making it harder to source quality workers quickly. Our most successful approach has been multi-pronged.

“You can’t just have one iron in the fire anymore. And retention is becoming more and more important.”

For more information on sponsoring skilled overseas workers, please contact our registered migration agent, Eddie Zhao, on 03 8662 5234 or email ezhao@victorianchamber.com.au

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