The Australian video games industry is set to benefit from changes to the government’s skilled visas program in a major win for local studios.
In an announcement on Tuesday, the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke added 22 new occupations to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL), bringing the total to 41.
“Government has received valuable feedback from Australian business stakeholders on critical skill vacancies, which has been considered together with data from the National Skills Commission, in order to develop today’s update to the Priority Migration Skilled Migration List,” Minister Hawke said.
In addition to accountants, chefs and scientists, the new jobs include roles as “multimedia specialists” and “software engineers”, which will include video game developers.
According to the federal government definition, a multimedia specialist is defined as someone performing the following jobs:
“Creates and manipulates computer animation, audio, video and graphic image files into multimedia programs to produce data and content for CD-ROMs, information kiosks, multimedia presentations, websites, mobile telephone resources, electronic gaming environments, e-commerce and e-security solutions, and entertainment and education products.”
Meanwhile, studios can also make the most of the software engineer role, which will allow them to hire a number of programming and engineering positions.
Thankfully, this means a number of overseas workers with expertise in both the art and engineering will be able to secure work in Australia as part of the programme.
And to make matters even better, both of these roles are included on the Federal Government’s Long and Medium-Term Strategic Skills List, which makes it significantly easier for studios to sponsor employees who wish to seek permanent residency in Australia.
Considering the IGEA recently revealed that just 28% of studios have been open to hiring overseas talent in the last year, the addition of these jobs could be a huge benefit to the industry as a whole when it comes to hiring the very best talent for Australian studios.