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New skilled occupations list targets skills for national economy.

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Senator Chris Evans Minister for Immigration and Citizenship  

New skilled occupations list targets skills for national economy Thursday, 1 July 2010

A major reform to the skilled migration program which comes into effect today will help deliver workers needed to meet skills shortages in the Australian economy, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans said today.

The new skilled occupations list (SOL) will apply from 1 July and provide employers with access to skilled workers from 183 highly valued occupations, including managerial, professional, technical and trade occupations.

‘The government's reforms to the skilled migration program are delivering the workers our economy need to the regions where there is real demand,’ Senator Evans said.

‘We have already seen the rate of employer and state-sponsored skilled migrants increase from 29 per cent in 2007-08 to 55 per cent this current year.

‘And the latest figures illustrate businesses are already using the new system to recruit the skilled workers they need to meet demands in Western Australian and Queensland.’

Both Western Australia and Queensland have seen increases to the share of skilled migrants coming to their respective states.

In 2004-05, 12 per cent of all permanent migrants settled in Western Australia. This figure had increased to 16 per cent in 2008-09. Western Australia is also attracting more workers under the employer sponsored program. The state accounted for 16 per cent of the program in 2007-08 and this grew to 24 per cent in 2008-09.

The total permanent migration figures in Queensland have also increased from 17 per cent in 2004-05 to 20 per cent in 2008-09.

‘The government's reforms are not just bringing in the skilled migrants Australia actually needs but the demand-driven focus means migrants are increasingly working in the occupations and regions that will most benefit the Australian economy,’ Senator Evans said.

‘The Labor Government recognises the special needs of the growing Western Australian and Queensland economies. The reforms to the skilled migration program are delivering tangible results for employers both big and small.’

The new SOL was formulated on the advice of the independent body Skills Australia.

The government recognises the changes may affect some overseas students currently in Australia who had been intending to apply for permanent residence. The introduction of the new SOL provides generous transitional arrangements for people who were former and current international students at the time the changes were announced on 8 February 2010.

International students who have the skills Australia needs will still be able to apply for independent permanent migration or be nominated by employers.

The new SOL is available from the Department of Immigration of Citizenships (DIAC) website. See: Skilled Occupation Lists

See: Index of Media Releases

URL: /media/media-releases/2010/ce10056.htm Last update: 01 July 2010 at 11:43 AEST