Wednesday 20 March 2019

MFA and TCC announce Advertising Industry Labour Agreement to meet key skills shortages in industry

The Media Federation of Australia (MFA) and The Communications Council (TCC) today welcomed the introduction of a five-year Advertising Industry Labour Agreement to cover key skill shortages in the Australian advertising sector that cannot be filled despite the industry’s best efforts to recruit locally.

The labour agreement will enable approved businesses to sponsor skilled overseas workers for visas in specified advertising industry roles where there is a demonstrated need that cannot be met in the Australian market.

“The Australian advertising industry strongly supports Australian jobs first. But if we’re to maintain our status as one of the top advertising countries around the world, we need to be able to access the best-experienced talent to cover skill shortages that we can’t either grow or have available here,” MFA CEO Sophie Madden said.

TCC CEO Tony Hale added: “This is great news for the industry. The MFA and TCC have come together to find an industry-wide answer to a very complex problem. We are all very excited to have reached this agreement with the Department of Home Affairs and would like to thank them for working with us to develop a solution that allows the industry to continue to compete effectively and grow.”

Under the Advertising Industry Labour Agreement (AILA), the MFA and TCC have co-signed a Schedule of Responsibilities with the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). The DHA administers the AILA, including approving individual company AILAs and visa applications. TCC and MFA will jointly manage the pre-vetting process to ensure advertising firms seeking to sponsor highly skilled overseas workers meet all endorsement criteria.

The key features of the AILA agreement are:

  • An annual industry cap of 300 approved visas;
  • TSS visas up to 4-years with a pathway to permanent residency after three years;
  • Employers must maintain at least 75% Australian workforce;
  • Sponsored overseas workers must contribute to recognised industry training programs to upskill Australians;
  • Minimum salary of $85,000 (guaranteed earnings);
  • Compulsory labour market testing;
  • Five approved ANZSCO occupations eligible for visas: Advertising Specialist; Graphic Designer; Copywriter; Multimedia Designer; and Web Developer;
  • Endorsement and expression of interest process managed by MFA/TCC.

In April 2017, the Australian Government replaced the 457 visa with a new Temporary Skills Shortages (TSS) visa. The MFA/TCC undertook a study in March 2018, designed to identify the impact of the changes to the temporary visa system on the industry. The survey findings included:

– Increase in industry vacancy rates;
– Increased costs of conducting business;
– Increased existing staff workload;
– Inability to find local talent to fill positions;
– Greatest skill shortages occur in specialist roles with 3-7 years’ and 8-15 years’ experience;
– Visa staff contribute to growing business and upskilling local talent.

For more information about the AILA, visit:

AILA page
Department of Home Affairs labour agreements page

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