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Immigration Dep’t releases new skilled occupation list

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Cooks, hairdressers removed from list

17 May 2010– The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has just released the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) which will come into effect from 1 July 2010. The new SOL provides for 181 occupations compared to the earlier list of 408. The list, prepared by Skills Australia, now focuses on highly skilled occupations such as doctors, nurses, engineers, scientists, teachers, vets, locksmiths, dentists, midwives, mechanics, bricklayers, carpenters, tilers, electricians and plumbers. The Department would want the skilled migrations scheme to be “demand-driven” instead of “supply-driven.”

The new SOL is based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) which has resulted in some occupations names and tasks being slightly different to the previous SOL which was based on the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO)

In 2007-08, out of the 41,000 general skilled visas granted, 5,000 of these visas were given to cooks and hairdressers, most of them studied in Australia.

Other occupation excluded from the list include signwriter, piano tuner, interior decorator, greenkeeper, gunsmith, parole officer, real estate agent, fashion designer, hotel/motel manager, librarian, mathematician and massage therapist.

Immigration and Citizenship Minister Chris Evans yesterday said that refining the list to “highly skilled” occupations would restore integrity to the skilled migration scheme and close the door on those seeking to manipulate the migration system. “Through a targeted migration program, the Rudd Government will attract skilled migrants of the highest calibre and deliver people with real skills to meet real need in our economy,” Senator Evans said.

“Australia’s migration program cannot be determined by the courses studied by international students. International students who have the skills our economy needs will still be able to apply for permanent migration or be nominated by [their] employers. But we will no longer accept the thousands of cooks and hairdressers who applied under the guidelines [that were] established by the Howard government,” Senator Evans said.

The SOL will not affect applications under the Employer Nomination Scheme or employer sponsored temporary residency visas.

“This SOL represents a new direction which aims to ensure we choose migrants who have the skills to meet our nation’s economic needs,” Senator Evans said.

“The initiative builds on the reforms announced in February. The Government has increased English language requirements for trade applicants and introduced a new job ready program for onshore trade applicants.

“There is now increased priority for employer sponsored migrants and this will ensure industry is able to quickly access the skilled workers it needs,” he said.

Individuals who have already submitted skilled Australian visa applications will have their applications assessed against occupations appearing on the current SOL.

For the complete new list of occupations, pls visit  http://www.immi.gov.au/.

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