Changes to the Skilled Migration List targets only the highly skilled

Posted October 13, 2011, by Andrea Riddell

Immigration and Citizenship minister, Senator Chris Evans, has put forward a newer, shorter Skilled Migration List (SOL) following advice provided by Skills Australia.

The new list, which has shed over 200 occupations, is intended to specifically target the medium- and long-term demands of the Australian labour market.

Jobs that have failed to make the list this time include hairdresser, acupuncturist, journalist and cook, while jobs in engineering, nursing and medicine are featured heavily.

New English language requirements will also make it harder for trade applicants to gain residency, while onshore workers will be aided with a new job-ready program.
‘First and foremost, young Australians should be trained and given the opportunity to fill existing job vacancies,’ Senator Evans said in a statement.

The changes will attract a more highly skilled migration demographic and stop people applying for permanent residency on the back of ‘low-value’ education courses.

Senator Evans states that the changes will ensure that the migration program is demand-driven rather than supply-driven and will target areas where there are shortages of highly skilled workers.

‘Through a targeted migration program, the Rudd Government will attract skilled migrants of the highest calibre and deliver people with real skills to meet real need in our economy,’ says Evans.

The new SOL will come into place from July 1 with the intention of being updated every year.

The changes are only directed towards the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program and will not affect employer-sponsored permanent or temporary visas.

Andrea Riddell

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