Call for engineering professions to be removed from OZ skills lists

An Australian industry group has called on the government to remove any engineering-based occupations from the country’s skilled occupations lists for migrants.

Professionals Australia argue that engineering job vacancies across the country are currently lower than they have been for a long time, yet the migration of engineers to Australia remains high.

“Engineering job vacancies are at an all-time low, yet in 2015/16, record numbers of skilled engineers migrated to Australia,” Professionals Australia chief executive Chris Walton told the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this week. “That’s not fair to Australian graduate engineers who study for four years at significant expense and then struggle to find a job.”

However, Engineers Australia, the official governing body of Australia’s engineering industry, argues that the occupations should remain open to immigrants.

“Engineering has a highly cyclical employment market, and long-term migration is a method of moderating this boom/bust cycle,” said Engineers Australia chief executive Stephen Durkin.

“In the face of static and very slowly growing domestic engineering graduations over recent decades, maintaining a long-term pipeline of skilled migrants is critical if Australia wants a sustainable domestic engineering workforce.”

A total of 26 occupations which fall under the Engineers Australia remit are currently included on the country’s Skilled Occupations List (SOL). These include material engineers, civil engineers and transport engineers. However, mining engineers and petroleum engineers were removed from the 2016-17 SOL.

The SOL is a list of essential occupations that are not being filled locally. The list, compiled by Skills Australia, is reviewed on an annual basis. Anyone who is applying for an Independent or Family Sponsored Points Tested visa or a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) – Graduate Work Stream, must nominate an occupation from the Skilled Occupations List (SOL)

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Article published 5th January 2017