The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business has now published its proposed changes to skilled migration occupations lists.

As part of its biannual review, the Department has flagged potential changes to occupations listed on the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List, the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List and the Regional Occupation List.

The Department has flagged 11 occupations to be removed from the lists and four to be added. There are an additional 17 occupations flagged for movement between lists, including Ship Masters which will move from the Regional Occupations List to the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List.

AMMA welcomes the proposed change for Ship Masters as an occupation of high concern for the industry and in particular our drilling and maritime members. AMMA has previously submitted that this occupation should not be restricted to regional work.

The Department is inviting interested stakeholders to provide feedback in relation to any occupation on the skilled migration lists even if no change has been flagged at this time. The proposed changes reflect the outcomes of initial labour market analysis, stakeholder consultation and views from across government.

The Department has also been working with stakeholders to identify new and emerging occupations not currently reflected in the migration system. As a result, the Australian Bureau of Statistics recently made determinations about some of these occupations and where they fit within the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) including Maintenance Electricians and Data Scientists.

At the request of members, AMMA will make a submission to have occupations which are of high concern for our industry placed on the relevant skilled migration lists.

The public consultation period is open until 12 February 2020.

Next steps

AMMA is seeking input from interested members, and invites further information and evidence, to inform our submission about any occupations relevant to the skilled migration review.

The Department has indicated it is seeking specific information that it might not understand purely from looking at national labour market data.

For instance, this particular information could go to specific projects or contracts and covers:

  • Regional variations in the need for particular occupations
  • Additional evidence on ‘niche’ or highly specialised skills within occupation categories
  • A specific need for highly experienced workers within a particular occupation category, for example workers within 10 years’ experience
  • The experience and remuneration levels of highly skilled staff where there may be gaps in the local labour market.

AMMA will continue to assist the Australian Government on skilled migration to avoid a scenario where nationally significant resources and energy projects are delayed by skills shortages, or competing for engineers, trades and skilled operators with the $100 billion worth of infrastructure projects in Australia’s development pipeline.

To provide input on the government’s ongoing skilled migration reviews, please contact the AMMA Policy team via [email protected].