This week, the Australian government commenced a review of the Australian skilled migration occupation lists with the updated lists due to be released in March 2020.
On the heels of cutting down Australia’s immigration intake by 30,000 places in 2019/20 and with two new regional visas coming soon in November, the government commenced a review of skilled migration occupations list on Wednesday.
Each year the Australian government reviews the list of skilled occupations which determine the kind of skilled migrants needed across Australia. With more places for migration allotted to regional Australia, the government has hinted the new list will focus on the skills needed in these regions with the government specifically seeking feedback from regional stakeholders.
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Mr David Coleman, said the Government’s migration program was focussed on ensuring employers can access workers to fill critical skills shortages, particularly in regional Australia.
“We’ve allocated 23,000 regional migration places, introduced two new regional visas and signed Designated Area Migration Agreements around the country to attract migrants to the regions, help towns grow and to fill some of the 60,000 job vacancies in regional Australia,” Minister Coleman said.
“The Morrison Government is continuing to look closely at ways of filling these skills gaps in regional areas and giving businesses more certainty and confidence that they can get the workers they need when they need them.”
Tech Jobs also under the spotlight
Technology jobs already dominate Australia’s skilled migration, taking up the top three most commonly used occupations: developer, software engineer and ICT business analyst. The ICT sector accounted for about 7600 of the 82,000 total skilled visas issued by the government in 2018-19.
The current occupation list includes about 500 jobs. To be included, a job must be listed on the ANZSCO standard worker classification, effectively ruling out a number of popular tech jobs until the ANZSCO list is also updated.
The skills shortages and talent gaps facing Australian startups and tech firms is a central issue in the sector currently, and more needs to be done to improve access to overseas talent until it is on offer locally,
Employment and skills minister Michaelia Cash launched the review on Wednesday to ensure the list is “responsive to genuine skills needs”.
“As a government, our role is to ensure that Australian employers can access workers with the skills needed to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow when they can’t be met by the domestic workforce,” Senator Cash said in a statement.
“As part of the review, my department will consult with industry, employers, unions and individuals in developing advice for the Morrison government on the occupations required to meet the labour market needs of the Australian economy.”
What are the Australian skilled migration occupation lists?
Australia’s employer-sponsored, Points-tested and state nominated visa programs are underpinned by three kinds of Skilled Occupations lists:
- the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL);
- the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL); and,
- the Regional Occupation List (ROL).