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457 Visa modifications welcomed by pharmaceutical industry

Monday, 3 July 2017

Media Release

Medicines Australia has welcomed the Federal Government’s modifications to Australia’s skilled migration occupation lists announced on Friday 30 June. These changes will prevent workforce and skill shortages within the critical innovative pharmaceutical sector.

Medicines Australia Chief Executive, Milton Catelin said: “As an industry that is so reliant on research and development and a workforce with very specific abilities, it’s important that we have a skilled migration policy that can support the ongoing work of this vital sector to Australia.

Our members employ more than 14,000 Australians and invest more than $1 billion a year in local research and development, including clinical trials, but without access to an appropriately targeted skilled migration system much of this work would not be able to go ahead in Australia.

“The innovative pharmaceutical sector relies on the support of our global networks and world-best research to bring the latest in biopharmaceutical research to Australian patients. This collaboration has led to many of the medical advancements that are improving lives every day.”

“Medicines Australia commends Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s quick acknowledgement of the importance of the Australian-based sector being able to compete at a global level but it also ensures that our skilled migration policy supports the Federal Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda,” Mr Catelin said.

“Since the government’s initial announcement in April, the sector has worked proactively with the Department of Immigration, Minister Dutton and his Ministerial Office to address what were clearly unforeseen consequences of changes to Australia’s skilled migration program.

“With the return of Biochemist, Biotechnologist, Lift Scientist, Nurse Researcher, Production Manager (Manufacturing) and Research and Development Manager to the list, there are now ongoing avenues through which these skills can be brought to Australia.”

“Between 1 -3% of our total member company employees are contracted under skilled migration conditions – yet, despite this small number – they fill roles that are critical to the ongoing operation and development of the sector.

“Minister Dutton’s decision on Friday is a welcome one for an industry that requires business and workforce certainty to bring medicines through the development pipeline. This decision will help us meet that need.”

 

-ENDS-

CONTACT: Natalie Wimmer

Ph. 0450 728 660

Email: nwimmer@medaus.com.au

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