The Department of Employment has flagged possible changes to the occupations on the skilled migration occupation lists, as part of its regular six monthly review.

Ingrid Fraser
AMMA Policy Advisor

The Department proposed very minimal changes, flagging only nine occupations out of a total of 649 to be added or removed from the lists, as detailed in its Traffic Light Bulletin. Those changes were only in relation to the Short-term Skilled Occupation List – no changes were proposed to the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List at this time.

The Department invited stakeholders to provide data and evidence in relation to the specific occupations identified for possible change, as well as those flagged for no change.

AMMA took the opportunity to provide further information and evidence in relation to the remaining occupations that formed the basis of AMMA advocacy that are still ineligible for skilled migration under either list. AMMA focused its attention on those occupations identified as high priority by AMMA members, including Driller, Marine Transport Professionals NEC, Ship’s Engineer, Ship’s Master and Ship’s Officer. AMMA also provided feedback in relation to the occupations Marine Surveyor and Gas or Petroleum Operator.

The Department indicated that given the substantial changes to the skilled migration occupation lists in April and July 2017, it is prioritising continuity and stability in this round of review. It made it clear that it is not likely to change the status of any occupation without specific data and evidence to support any further changes to the list at this stage.

AMMA sought the input of interested members, and invited members to provide further information and where possible, supporting evidence to inform the AMMA submission. AMMA would like to thank the members that provided input, which provided detailed evidence-based case studies in support of our submission, and will be useful in demonstrating that there is a shortage of suitably skilled workers in key occupations in Australia.

Next steps

The Minister for Employment will provide recommendations from the review to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, who has the authority to implement the lists under the Migration Act 1958. The next update to the lists is slated to occur with effect from January 2018.

AMMA will continue its advocacy efforts outside of the regular review, to ensure the government understands the importance of the lists meeting the genuine skill needs across the resources and energy sector, and reflecting the dynamic and specialised nature of job roles that are being performed.

Please get in touch with AMMA Policy Advisor, Ingrid Fraser, via email at [email protected] for more information regarding changes to skilled migration or to be added to AMMA’s skilled migration distribution list.