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Innovation and Early Careers Skills Exchange Pilot(IECSEP): New Pathways for UK Professionals to Australia


Introducing IECSEP:

The Innovation and Early Careers Skills Exchange Pilot (IECSEP) significantly enhances Australia and UK relations by providing UK citizens with access to tailored career streams that include short-term placements, secondments, and intra-corporate transfers in Australia.

There is no requirement for Australian businesses to sponsor applicants on this pilot program, and labour market testing and TSMIT are not applied. Successful SDE Pilot applicants enter Australia on a Temporary Work (International Relations) subclass 403 visa Government Agreement stream. Applications for the program are open now.


Program Streams:

  1. Early Careers Skills Stream: Aimed at early career professionals, this stream facilitates up to one-year placements in Australia, enhancing international experience and professional skills. For application details, visit Early Careers Stream Application.
  2. Innovation Stream: Open to highly skilled individuals with notable innovation achievements, this stream supports up to three-year collaborations with Australian organisations to promote innovation initiatives. Interested parties can apply here: Innovation Stream Application.


Key Features and Application Process:

  • Total visas available: 1,000 in the first year and 2,000 in the second year.
  • Application forms for both streams are available on the DFAT website.
  • The current round for the Early Careers stream closes on June 30, 2024.
  • Round 2 for the Innovation stream also closes on June 30, 2024.
  • Applicants must demonstrate UK citizenship and have a confirmed job offer in Australia to be eligible.


The closure date for the SC 403 visa pilot program has been extended from April 30 to June 30. This extension provides additional time for applicants to finalise their submissions under the current pilot guidelines.


Benefits for Employers and Businesses:

The IECSEP offers significant advantages to Australian employers and businesses, such as access to innovative UK talent and opportunities for staff upskilling, through:

  • Engagement with UK professionals in early or innovative career stages.
  • Support for international career development.
  • Collaboration with UK innovators on intra-corporate transfers.
  • Provision of 12-month secondments or placements for early-career UK professionals.


For comprehensive details on IECSEP and assistance with the application process, consult the IECSEP Guide on DFAT.

For more information on the Innovation and Early Careers Skills Exchange Pilot (IECSEP) and updates, please contact our expert team at to schedule an online consultation.

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