PRIA wants migration reforms for PR specialists in Australia

With the backing of 15 PR and communications agencies, the initiative seeks to change Australia’s migration rules.

The Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) has launched a migration taskforce advocating for migration reform to bridge the 'skills gap' crisis in the communication and public relations industry.

The Taskforce will advocate for the National Skills Commission to place communication and public relations industry professionals on the Long-Term Strategic Skills List, allowing permanent residency for migrants. With a backing of 15 communications agencies, the taskforce seeks to change Australia’s migration settings.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic demand for communications and public relations skills accelerated, driven by the increased awareness of the value of effective, credible and timely communication and engagement with staff, customers and stakeholders to ensure our organisations and institutions were being known, being understood, and most importantly being trusted,” said PRIA president Shane Allison.

He also maintained that the inclusion of PR and communications skills on the Long-Term Strategic Skills List will make Australia a more desirable destination for skilled communicators.

“This taskforce will not only help tackle our immediate skills crisis, but also play a critical role in bringing skilled professionals who can train and mentor the next generation of communicators who are currently training in our higher education institutions," Allison said. 

“We’ve written to the Immigration Minister Giles to ask for their support of our industry and look forward to engaging with the review of the Skilled Occupations List that was funded in this year’s Federal Budget.”

The National Skills Commission’s Internet Vacancy index demonstrated an 82% increase in vacancies for PR professionals from the pre-Covid era (January 2020) to April 2022, and a 183% increase over the past decade.

PRIA has engaged EY to model the skills gaps across our occupation and to highlight the economic contribution of the PR profession to the country’s economy.

The Taskforce’s supporters include Sling & Stone; Herd MSL; Red Havas; Thrive PR; WE Communications; Ogilvy PR; Sefiani; The Haus; History Will Be Kind; Icon Agency; Porter Novelli; BCW; Agenda C; Salt & Shein; and The Savage Company.

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