Thousands of students enrolled in vocational courses like cookery and hairdressing, which till now allowed a â€œfast trackâ€ to permanent residency, will have to sit for a test requiring â€œcompetentâ€ English language skills while applying to live and work in Australia.
â€œTrades people applying to live and work in Australia permanently from the first of July will require increased English language skills,â€ according to new immigration policy changes issued by the Australian Immigration Department.
The change will mean that people applying for the General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas overseas will have to pass a test showing they have competent English. In the past, the pass mark was based on vocational English, a lower standard.
â€œTrades people lodging skilled migration visa applications overseas will be required to meet the new English language level under International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test.
â€œThis change will bring trade-related occupations in line with the English language level required for all other occupations on the Skilled Occupation List,â€ the department said, adding that research has shown that migrants proficient in English have better employment outcomes.