As a recruiter in Australia, I regularly get queries from people who want to relocate here. I know exactly what that feels like, getting itchy feet in your home town and eager to explore a different way of life. I was lucky, when I moved to Melbourne originally as a backpacker in 2005, Recruitment Consultants were on the sponsorship list and it was relatively easy to covert from my working holiday visa. However, things have changed a lot now, Australia is tightening up on their immigration and the skills shortage list is getting shorter.
Now I am obviously not an immigration agent but I can comment on what I see as a Recruiter in the local IT industry.
1) Once a company is registered to be able to sponsor an individual the process is relatively easy and not too expensive, however the vast majority of companies don't want to go down that route unless it's for a niche skill set. Many have tried it in the past and perhaps committed to bringing someone across to Australia from another country and the process has fallen through because family members change their mind or they get a better offer elsewhere.
2) IT Sponsorships are very hard to arrange via agencies. Clients come to us to find them relevant and available skills. They want us to solve their problems as quickly as possible and this is what they are paying us for. Adding in sponsorship costs and elongating the process doesn't fit well with the service that they expect us to provide. You will have much more luck if you apply to companies direct, giving them an idea of dates that you intend to be here and demonstrate that you have done your homework on the immigration site and understand what is required of you. There are so many people who just apply for jobs and state that they need sponsored - but then expect you to tell them how to do it. Do your research and present yourself to companies as a solution to their problem rather than giving them more work to do.
3) Recruitment sponsorships are much easier to arrange from abroad as there is a distinct lack of people here in Australia (why, I have no idea). If you are a successful and efficient recruiter in the UK for example you will do well here. It's the same game. But the visa rules have changed recently so that companies need to bring you in on a higher salary. This means that they have to pay you a higher base than probably the majority of people already in their office, so may result in you having to accept a lower commission rate.
4) With IT professionals, the best way to get here is to obtain your own visa and pay for it yourself. This can take a year or even 18 months to come through but it means that you have an independent visa and can apply for any permanent roles. It is always best if you get this visa and relocate here before beginning a search, or start applying 2-3 months before you are due to arrive. If you are overseas and applying for roles with a PR but are not here and have no fixed plans to be here your application will again be popped into the "too hard" basket. You can find more information on the skills that are eligible here - archive.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/work/work/skills-assessment-and-assessing-authorities/skilled-occupations-lists
5) There are plenty of immigration agents who will happily assist you for a fee. It is possible to conduct the paperwork and process yourself if you are a pretty organised and thorough type of person with the time to work through all the paperwork. However it is always reassuring to have someone there to check everything for you if you are confident with it, particularly if you have medical conditions or are scraping together enough points.
Anyway, good luck and hopefully we will be seeing you in Australia soon!