Skilled migration targets ICT and NBN

Skilled migration targets ICT and NBN

Summary: Occupations such as cook and hairdresser have been replaced by more technically-inclined positions on a new skilled occupation migration list released by the Federal Government yesterday.


Occupations such as cook and hairdresser have been replaced by more technically-inclined positions on a new skilled occupation migration list released by the Federal Government yesterday.

The new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) released by Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Evans yesterday reduces the number of occupations that migrants to Australia can claim for independent general skilled migration from over 400 to 181.

Evans said that Skills Australia acted on the advice from industry skills councils, industry peak bodies and Professions Australia in ensuring the SOL contained occupations "Australia needs in the medium to long term".

Jobs such as analyst programmer and systems analyst have remained on the list, while ICT business analyst, developer programmer and software engineer have been added. A number of telecommunications-specific occupations have also found their way onto to the list and appear to directly target the Federal Government's roll-out of the National Broadband Network. These roles include telecommunications engineer, telecommunications network engineer, telecommunications field engineer and telecommunications network planner.

In general, the position descriptions for information technology roles have also been made more specific.

"This SOL represents a new direction which aims to ensure we choose migrants who have the skills to meet our nation's economic needs," Evans said in statement.

Until 2012, international students currently studying in Australia will still be able to apply for skilled migration visas based on the old list, but future students have been advised not to choose the course they study based on the new list, as it will be constantly updated. Evans said students could also still be nominated by employers for permanent migration.

"There is now increased priority for employer-sponsored migrants and this will ensure industry is able to quickly access the skilled workers it needs," he said.

The list has removed lower skilled role such as cooks and hairdressers, which accounted for 5000 of the 41,000 general skilled visas granted in 2007/08.

(Front page image credit: NBN Tasmania)

Topics: Government, Broadband, Government AU, NBN


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • I rang immigration 3 times yesterday, and talked to 3 different people. Existing students are not able to use the old SOL list after July, for PR purposes. So, if your course is no longer on the list (In my case... Welfare Worker) All we can apply for is the 485 .... 18 Month Visa, and then go home. That was a well spent 20,000 dollars, for a 2 yr Tafe course, that locals pay about 2,000 for. Goodbye to Australia's 18 Billion dollar education industry. How may students do you think will continue to study in Australia under the new circumstances??
  • I think heeps of students will continue to come here. One of the reasons they leave their own country is because they don't have the social cachet to propel them forward in life. They come to a new country wishing to start afresh. They come here to carve out a better life that they can't do in their own country. 'Hope is the great falsifier of truth'
  • I think the migration department has introduce such rules which will make education industry more profitable. They should have introduce these rules 2 years back. I was an International student and studied I.T. from swinburne Institute. Australia is definately very advanced technologically and people all over the world are aware of this fact. No complaints for new rules......
  • I feel for the students who have already invested time and their own or their families money in studying occupations in Australia which were on the list last week. All of the arts subjects are now gone aswell. The flow on effect at the college my husband works for is that all the staff will now be out of a job as the college owners scramble to find a basis for their previously lucrative business to continue to operate. I think it is irresponsible of the government to implement these rules without a transition inplace for both students and the businesses built on the international education industry in Australia. Talk about having the rug pulled out from under your feet....