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Thrive PR+ Communications


Supporting expat workers on path to permanent residency

We're spearheading efforts for the PR industry to have better

access to the international talent pool

With the migration cap being lifted to 195,000 at the Jobs and Skills Summit last week, Australasia’s largest independent PR agency, Thrive PR + Communications, has announced it will be supporting eligible employees towards permanent residency but is calling on the government to provide a more permanent solution to address the current skills shortage.

With support from its immigration partner, Thrive will be among the first to assist employees on 457 and 482 subclass visas to access the 408 pandemic visa as a pathway to permanent residency. And while change is being welcomed by the industry, businesses only have until 1 July 2023 to transition employees from temporary to permanent employment.

Thrive founder and Managing Director, Leilani Abels is calling for public relations to be on the long-term skills occupation list: “We need a commitment from the government to give people who worked in this country during one of the toughest periods in history more certainty and stability. If, as a country, we want to attract some of the world’s best talent, the migration system has to change to enable faster decision-making and greater certainty with a pathway to permanent residency.

“In an industry that is being heavily impacted, the ability to seek qualified and passionate talent will be a game-changer for Australian businesses. Currently, we are in a market where unusually high sums of money are being used to entice talent to new jobs as the talent pool is simply not there. This inability to draw on workers from other markets is creating an inequitable playing field.

“There’s a lack of talent coming through the ranks with the fundamental skills required; elitism in comms course access; ageism (particularly for women); a lack of diversity; and the lack of childcare access alongside exorbitant costs, are all factors pointing to an industry reaching crisis.

“It is a significant cost to us as a business, but we are committed to supporting our migrant workers on the current available path to permanent residency as a solution to the problems the industry is facing. However, skilled working visa costs must be reduced significantly for individuals and sponsoring employers. Australia must deliver a more competitive visa offer for international workers.”

Demand to fill PR jobs has risen 82 percent according to the National Skills Commission’s Internet Vacancy Index, heightened by the pandemic when the importance of communications professionals was accelerated into the spotlight. Advertised salaries in marketing and communications have risen by 4.7 percent on average across the industry1 as Australia is labelled as having the second most severe labour shortages in the developed world, according to the latest OECD economic outlook.

Earlier this year, Thrive joined The Migration Task Force in solidarity with other PR agencies and the industry body, PRIA to further lobby support from the government to add public relations to the skills list.

As part of the Migration Taskforce, Thrive will continue to lead a first-to-respond agency initiative to capitalise on post-pandemic legislative updates.

“Our team members who we are currently being supported on the PR pathway have called it 'life-changing’, '' concluded Abels.

Thrive will also continue to shape and upskill Marcomms consultants of the future, with initiatives including the soon-to-be-launched Tech Academy.


1 Seek 2022 data


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