A new Global Talent initiative is being introduced in Australia from the beginning of 2019 aimed at attracting the very best talent from around the world.

The Australian Government is investing $12.9 million in the initiative which it says will strengthen Australia's ability to compete for the best and brightest skilled migrants from across the globe.

Robotics skilled workers

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Internationally, there is intense competition for global talent and Immigration Minister David Coleman said that Australia needs to be at the forefront in attracting the best and the brightest to help grow a stronger economy and a more prosperous nation.

Through the Global Talent Initiative, the Department of Home Affairs will be tasked with identifying and recruiting the brightest minds from around the world through active targeting and promotion in Australia and overseas.

'Thanks to Australia's safety, economic stability and wealth of opportunity we already have a strong reputation for attracting high calibre migrants. The Global Talent Initiative will allow us to continue to proactively attract the top talent we need,' Coleman explained.

Some 5,000 places will be set aside each year under the Global Talent Initiative, available for truly exceptional people and their families to move to Australia. 'Only the best will be invited to apply, but they must also embrace our values as an open and tolerant country. We're looking for people who can drive innovation, local job creation and uphold Australia's values,' Coleman added.

The Government will work in partnership with business and industry sectors, State and Territory Governments and a range of Commonwealth agencies to identify top talent and promote Australia to skilled individuals in key overseas locations.

Business are already signing up for the Global Talent Scheme pilot, including Cochlear, SFDC Australia, Rio Tinto and SafetyCulture with the aim of having access to top global talent.

'This will help Australian businesses attract individuals with specific skills for roles that are not currently able to be filled by Australians. The Government is committed to promoting growth in the technology sector, which is a huge driver of the Australian economy, and this scheme will boost business growth and skills sharing locally,' said Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews.

'Global talent is in demand, and we're ensuring Australia can attract individuals with the science, technology, engineering, and maths skills needed for areas like robotics and biotechnology, which will help these sectors thrive and flow on to benefit all Australians,' she added.

Cochlear chief executive officer, Dig Howitt, described the scheme as an important step forward in supporting the future pipeline of international talent for Australian companies. 'Australian companies, like Cochlear can only succeed on the world stage if we have access to global talent,' he pointed out.

'Under our Global Talent Scheme agreement we will be able to hire regulatory specialists from Europe, the US and elsewhere who have the skills and experience that are very difficult to find in Australia but are absolutely critical to our business and ongoing international success. As Cochlear's technology is sold in over 100 countries, we need people who can navigate a complex global regulatory environment,' he added.

Under the scheme, businesses sponsoring workers will need to demonstrate they are unable to source suitable individuals in Australia. Workers sponsored under the scheme will have access to a four year Temporary Skill Shortage visa and the option of seeking permanent residence after three years.