FEEDBACK is being sought from AMMA members as part of the consultation process for the first review of skilled migration changes.

The first formal review of the changes is under way, with the Department of Employment (DoE) circulating a consultation paper describing the methodology adopted as part of the review process. A copy of the methodology can be found here.

This review of the eligible occupation list(s) is the first of two by the DoE and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), with another scheduled for 12 months following the changes made on 1 July 2017.

When the changes were first flagged in April 2017, AMMA provided the DIBP a comprehensive briefing in relation to changes to Australia’s temporary skilled migration programme.

In particular, AMMA had highlighted 23 occupations that were of concern to the resources and energy sector, because they had been:

  • removed from the list(s) and were no longer eligible for employer sponsored skilled migration;
  • contained on the short term list (with AMMA members having identified the roles as being critical for medium and long term skilling needs); or
  • made subject to a restrictive caveat.

The lists were revised on 1 July 2017, with nine occupations that formed the basis of AMMA advocacy still ineligible for skilled migration under either list.

These were mainly in maritime occupations, where labour force data demonstrated a surplus of qualified deck and engineer officers currently seeking positions. Additionally, the occupation of driller was also omitted, with advice from the DIBP being that the level 4 skills rating for the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) Code was the main reason for this.

The consultation paper highlights the key labour market indicators that will be considered as part of this review. It also adopts a “traffic light” system to alert stakeholders to occupations where a change may occur.

AMMA hopes to assist the DoE is identifying an evidence base for type specific experience, which has been a concern to AMMA members who are responsible for providing labour for highly technical equipment where owner/insurer requirements are such that a pure qualification alone is inadequate.

Additionally, AMMA has previously expressed the concern that utilising the ANZSCO codes for occupations in the resources and energy sector fails to properly acknowledge the unique skill set required to operate highly technical equipment in the context of major resource projects. These occupation definitions are inherently incapable of capturing the skills required. AMMA would welcome the thoughts of members with a view to feeding these back into the consultation process.

Submissions for this first part of the consultation process are due on 20 October 2017, with a more comprehensive process which will address the specific occupations, scheduled for November 2017. The DoE have set up a webpage to facilitate submission to the review. More information is available here.

Please contact the policy team at [email protected] for more information on skilled migration.