The scheme will commence on 7 November 2011 and will require additional benchmarks to be met by companies in order to qualify.
The Minister's announcement is a further measure intended to support a fast and flexible avenue to sponsor overseas workers and fill areas of need.
This need for a priority processing scheme was identified in the Minister’s announcement with reference to:
- the increasing use of the 457 visa program with 54,360 visas granted in the 2010-11 program year
- KPMG’s Skilled Migration Survey 2011 which found the subclass 457 visa program provided a flexible avenue to alleviate skill shortages in growth sectors such as the mining industry.