How migrants are helping to drive Victoria’s economy

Almost half of all business migrants to Australia call Victoria home, helped along by our state’s Skilled and Business Migration Program.

Established in 2004, the Skilled and Business Migration Program (SBMP) provides visa nomination for more than 5000 skilled, investor and business migrants to Victoria annually.

Demand is strong, with nominated program places fully occupied each year – a trend projected to continue through this 2018-19 financial year. Most participants in the previous year arrived from India, Pakistan, China, Iraq and Ethiopia.  

Skilled and Business Migration Program (SBMP) Director, Miah Gibson.And our economy is all the better for it. Director of SBMP, Miah Gibson, explains how our future industries are growing, requiring more workers with high-end skills.  

"These migrants develop and grow businesses and drive investment into the state’s priority sectors including technology, health, engineering and building," says Miah. "Investor migrants [that is, migrants who help fund Victorian businesses] also contribute to Victoria’s capital through investments in managed funds, private businesses and venture capital."  

Miah explains how the SBMP complements the Victorian Government’s efforts towards attracting talent and investment – to some industries in particular.  

"It drives an economic agenda through strong employment outcomes in industries where skills are in demand – with a strong forward focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) occupations," says Miah. "The Program also attracts new business activity in exports and local business investments that increase employment, international connections and entrepreneurship."  

Recent local business activity includes export of Victorian wine to China, packaging and export of local honey, and production of marinated meat products made from 100 per cent Australian organic meat.

She says the Program’s reach isn’t confined to Melbourne alone. "It plays an important role in regional Victoria in addressing unmet skill needs and creating jobs and investment opportunities through targeted programs."

One such regional business to benefit from it is Optec, a training and risk management consultancy for the energy, mining, manufacturing and transport sectors, based in the Latrobe Valley town of Morwell. Rather than directly employing skilled migrants for in-house employment, it was assisted through another aspect of the Program – establishing a connection or partnership off-shore.  

With the help of the SBMP, Optec started exporting its expertise and training courses to China’s Guangdong Province last year.  

Through the Program’s network, Optec were able to establish a connection with a Chinese client and begin to gain the experience needed to crack into the previously untapped market. The two-day training program generated about $8000 direct income to Optec, and should result in additional business ongoing.  

More information

To understand the process for applying for visa nomination programs, the Skilled and Business Migration Program, or for general information about emigration to Victoria, please visit the Live In Melbourne website.