New priority migration jobs a shot in the arm for Australia’s skills crisis, industry group says

By Melissa Coade

Wednesday June 23, 2021

skilled migrants-accountant
Accountants, auditors and chefs will be included on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List. (Adobe/Andrey Popov)

A group representing the Australian resources and energy industries has expressed relief about an additional 22 jobs that have been included on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL).

On Tuesday the government announced that accountants, auditors and chefs would be included on the list, as well as a host of STEM specialists such as medical laboratory scientists, engineers with backgrounds in civil engineering, structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, analyst programmers and spatial scientists. 

The PMSOL now boasts 41 priority jobs ‘to ensure a small number of critical occupations are filled’ as Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19 gets underway.

AMMA, the group representing Australia’s resources and energy industries, welcomed the news with CEO Steve Knott declaring it ‘may well be a turning point in Australia’s skills crisis’. But he also warned that keeping Australia’s international borders shut would continue to negatively impact workforces in industries like his.

“AMMA’s members have been reporting worsening skills shortages that have threatened to cripple our national recovery from the pandemic’s crushing economic impacts,” Knott said.

“Significant data and evidence have been provided to government at all levels about these serious skills issues for well over a year.”

Knott urged the federal government to move quickly to develop a roadmap for domestic and international reopening.

“The next step is for government to urgently formulate a roadmap to both domestic and international reopening. 

“A clear roadmap will provide the business community with certainty and confidence to plan for future investment and employment opportunities,” he said. 

Alex Hawke, minister for immigration, citizenship, migrant services and multicultural affairs, said that visa priority would be given to people with occupations on the PMSOL, and Australian businesses who sponsored visa holders with jobs on the list would foot the bill of their own quarantine requirements.

The minister added that all other existing skilled migration occupation lists would remain active and continue to have their visas processed.

“Government has received valuable feedback from Australian business stakeholders on critical skill vacancies, which has been considered together with data from the National Skills Commission, in order to develop today’s update to the Priority Migration Skilled Migration List,” Hawke said.

The announcement of the revised PMSOL puts into effect findings of the interim report of a senate inquiry into Australia’s skilled migration program which has received submissions from government, industry and unions over the last few months

“The government will continue to support Australian businesses, including through skilled migration, as the engine room of our nation’s economy,” Hawke said. 


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