Skilled migration targets ICT and NBN

Occupations such as cook and hairdresser have been replaced by more technically-inclined positions on a new skilled occupation migration list released by the Federal Government yesterday.

Occupations such as cook and hairdresser have been replaced by more technically-inclined positions on a new skilled occupation migration list released by the Federal Government yesterday.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

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