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The Innovation and Early Careers Skills Exchange Pilot (IECSEP): Opportunities for UK Professionals in Australia

Introduced on June 8, 2023, as part of the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA), the Innovation and Early Careers Skills Exchange Pilot (IECSEP) offers UK citizens an avenue for temporary work in Australia, for a period of up to three years.

The primary focus of this initiative is to streamline the process of temporary relocation and employment for early-career UK professionals, providing professional growth pathways and expanding the various migration avenues. This initiative not only serves as a springboard for personal and professional development but also facilitates cross-border collaboration between UK and Australian organisations in accordance with the A-UK FTA.

The IECSEP comprises two visa streams:

  1. Early Careers Stream: Designed to nurture the talent of early-career professionals, this stream provides opportunities for tertiary-qualified individuals to embark on placements of up to 12 months in Australia. Eligible candidates must fulfill specific criteria, including UK citizenship, a confirmed job offer in Australia, and alignment of prospective employment in their current field of work.
  2. Innovation Stream: Catering to highly skilled individuals with a proven track record of innovation, this stream extends invitations for up to three years with an Australian organisation. Applicants are required to demonstrate significant expertise in their respective fields, along with a tangible contribution to innovation across various domains.

The application process for the IECSEP is a two-stage procedure, starting with a submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Successful candidates will receive a letter of support, allowing lodgement of a subsequent visa application to the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA). Notably, the visa application process is independent of the initial assessment conducted by DFAT.

The program offers 1,000 positions in its first year and an additional 2,000 positions in the following year.

For Australian employers, the IECSEP provides access to UK talent pools, opportunities for upskilling of staff, and avenues for intra-corporate transfers, fostering cross-border collaboration and driving innovation.

If you are a UK national or an Australian business interested in potentially exploring the Innovation and Early Careers Skills Exchange Pilot, GET IN TOUCH with our team of migration professionals