We have a lot of engineers visiting getting down under and many will be wondering if Engineering will appear on the 2017 – 2018 Skilled Occupations List (SOL).
Yesterday we wrote about the methodology used by the Australian Government’s Department of Education to select occupations which will appear on the Australian Skilled Occupations List (SOL).
The department will use this list as a basis for determining the occupations which will appear on the Australian SOL during the next migration intake which runs from 1st July through to 30th June of the following year.
April 19th Update: The 2017 – 2018 SOL can be found here. The List of jobs that have been removed from the latest 2017 – 2018 can be found here. Although there have been a couple of casualties, in the main it looks like the engineering profession has remained relatively unscathed!
As we wrote yesterday, around March each year, the Australian Government’s Department of Education and Training reviews the skilled migration program’s Skilled Occupation List and provides advice on the jobs which should make up the list of skilled occupations for the subsequent year.
As part of their review process, they also seek feedback from relevant industry bodies representing the trades being considered for inclusion within the next SOL.
Engineering jobs have been a popular occurrence on prior Skilled Occupations List and Engineering Australia; the industry body representing the engineering Industry within Australia have published a document in Support of Retaining Engineering Occupations on the 2017-18 SOL.
It provides some fascinating insight into the Engineering Industry within Australia. If you’re an engineer looking to secure an Australian visa under the 2017 – 2018 SOL, the document provides an interesting insight to some of the challenges engineers will face if they are looking to secure an Australian visa during the 2017 – 2018 migration year.
Keeping Engineering Jobs on the 2017 – 2018 SOL
As the paper states:
The objective for permanent skilled migration is to supplement the medium to long term capacity of Australian educational institutions to produce sufficient of the skills required by the economy. In recent years, there has been an unfortunate tendency to see this objective in terms of contemporary skill shortages which contradicts the character of the skilled occupation list. Our position is that the medium to long term basis for permanent skilled migration should be reinforced and our arguments are put forward in that light.
Conditions in the engineering labour market are no longer characterised by the rampart demand evident prior to 2012. The common perception was that this demand was primarily determined by the resources boom. This phenomenon certainly played a part, but resources related activity accounted for a minority of engineers; most engineers were employed throughout a wide range of industries, including the upsurge in infrastructure development at that time.
Against this background, it was inevitable that the ending of the resources boom would impact the demand for engineers. This impact has occurred at the same time as a slowdown in growth in the Australian economy and an abrupt slowdown in infrastructure development throughout Australia with the exception of NSW.
So not the most positive news, however, Engineers Australia argues that the Australian government should take a longer term view citing that the current intake of Engineering students within Australian universities will not meet future demand.
It is Engineers Australia’s view that the government’s medium term innovation ambitions require an enlarged engineering capability, especially in new and emerging technologies. To achieve this result, in the first instance, Australian universities need to continue increasing graduate engineers.
However, statistics show that recent growth in this area is coming to an end because insufficient high school students are studying foundation mathematics and science subjects. Skilled migration is the means to backstop efforts to produce more Australian engineers.
Our argument is that dropping engineering occupations from the SOL at this stage will result in history repeating. To succeed, the government’s planned innovation strategy requires a growing and robust engineering capability in the medium term.
Short term reaction to the adjustment taking place in the engineering labour market is unnecessary and were engineering occupations removed from the SOL, this would establish the pre-conditions for a shortage of engineers to work as engineers just when they are needed.
You can find the link to the full submission here, however, having read the full submission I feel, in the short term at least the future opportunities for engineers looking to use their skill sets to secure permanent Australian are looking a little bleak.
Many engineering based roles have already been flagged for removal from the 2017 – 2017 SOL and though the submission from Engineers Australia makes a strong argument, I think in the short term it might not be enough. Hopefully, the department of education will see things differently.
What are your thoughts? Post in our comments below.