Many businesses in Australia have come to realise the potential afforded to them through the use of skilled international workers - especially in regions where the local population lack the required level of experience or training.
However, in some areas the information on how best to approach the decision to hire international labour can be thin on the ground - leaving business owners without the capacity to make an informed choice.
To help give managers and department heads a better understanding of their sponsorship options, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has in place the Skilled Migration Outreach Program (SMOP).
This initiative makes experienced personnel available to various commercial groups and industry bodies, providing them with detailed knowledge that is specific to their member's needs.
The department also actively places officers in regional outreach centres to ensure that businesses in more remote locations are able to access reliable, up-to-date information on a range of related topics.
Skills shortages have been known to cause disruptions to Australian industries - some of which have been highlighted as crucial to the local economy.
Areas such as commercial excavation, construction, engineering and mining are all known to make use of sponsored migrant workers - gaining access to a talented pool of workers than would otherwise be available through the domestic workforce.
The role of these outreach officers is quite varied, with queries from commercial concerns focusing on a range of areas.
Because companies tend to have mixed requirements that are influenced by unique factors such as market conditions, the main aim of SMOP personnel is to deliver a broad overview of their options and then produce tailored presentations as required.
An immigration lawyer can deliver a comprehensive breakdown of the sponsorship process, as well as an assessment on the requirements of a particular business' application.
While the obligations on both employer and workers can differ for each visa type, choosing the one that matches the needs of both the business and its international employees can really help to speed up the process.
To this end, lawyers for immigration can advise managers and decision makers on this step, taking into account the specific situation a business is involved in as well as the desired outcomes in the long-term.
Because a majority of organisational leaders find themselves to be fairly time-poor, this approach can help them to achieve a beneficial hiring outcome without the need to personally wade through volumes of research material to find their ideal sponsorship program.