The Australian Government is committed to overhauling its skilled migration system. This will be done to meet the increasing demand for foreign workers and driving economic growth.
Australia will also review the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) to understand which jobs can be filled by overseas workers.
Michaela Cash, Minister for Employment and Skills, has recently announced the review. The review will be conducted to address concerns that almost 500 jobs on the current SOL do not reflect the demand for foreign workers in some industries.
Senator Cash said that it is necessary to address these concerns so that there are no hurdles to the continued growth of the Australian economy.
The current Skilled Occupation List of Australia was last updated in March this year. The review will ensure that there are enough workers to support the 10-year AUD 100 billion infrastructure program announced by the Govt.
Senator Cash also said that skilled migration has been an integral part of Australia’s prosperity. However, it is extremely important that the right foreign workers fill the right skill shortages in Australia, as quoted by SBS News.
Australia granted more than 80,000 skilled visas in the last financial year. Jobs in the ICT sector were the most popular last year.
However, ICT jobs like Data Scientist which are high in-demand will not be added to the SOL. That is because these jobs are not included in the ANZCO classification. The ANZCO classifications have not been updated since 2013.
Jarod Ball is the chief economist of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia. He says that the outdated ANZCO classification makes it difficult for employers in the ICT segment to hire the right foreign workers.
Mr Ball said that the technology sector has witnessed a lot of changes from 2013 till now. The sector has a lot of new occupations which have not yet been included in the skilled migration list.
Australia has, however, launched the Global Talent Scheme which allows the tech sector to hire high-skilled foreign workers. However, the new occupations should also be included in the mainstream skilled migration program, said Mr Ball.
The review will assess jobs on all three occupation list of Australia- medium and long-term, temporary skilled workers, and regional occupations.
The Australian Govt. has come up with new Regional Visa to encourage more migrants to settle in the regional areas of Australia.
However, Mr Ball is a little sceptical about the Govt. efforts to increase the number of skilled migrants in regional areas. He says that most migrants would complete their mandatory stay period in regional areas and then move back to the cities to take up higher-paid jobs.
Australia is currently in consultation with various stakeholders. The skilled occupations lists are expected to be updated by March next year.
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