Skilled Occupation Update

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    Australia wants more panelbeaters and cabinet makers in the ranks of its immigrants but the nation has enough foreign dentists and urban planners.

    The government’s latest update of the Skilled Occupation List, which gives preference to migrants with skills the nation is short of, shows Australia has filled the gap in looking after its teeth.But expert advice says there is a shortage of panelbeaters and cabinet makers.Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator Michaelia Cash, said independent migrants with these skills would get extra points on their applications, although ceilings were set for each occupation on the list to limit the number of migrants under each job in this part of the migration program.“Cabinet makers and panelbeaters make a valuable contribution to the Australian economy. Migrants with these skills will enhance the size and skill of the Australian workforce,” Senator Cash said.“There is a gap between the skills of Australians and the work that needs to be done.”Urban and regional planners, dentists and dental specialists will be removed from the list. And barristers and solicitors, accountants, occupational health and safety, medical laboratory scientists and petroleum engineers could be scaled back. The number of accountants was reduced this year and few barristers are admitted.“Skilled migrants complement locally trained and skilled workers, help to create new jobs and contribute to the communities in which they live and work,’’ Senator Cash said.The SOL was updated based on the findings of a review of Australia’s labour market and education and migration data by the Department of Industry and Science.The review considered submissions by industry, unions, trade and professional organisations.The SOL applies to independent points-based skilled migration, Family Sponsored visa applications and Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa applicants in the Graduate Work stream.Assistant Education Minister Simon Birmingham said the government’s $6 billion annual investment in vocational education and training was also supporting the training system to offer a pipeline of local talent to help address skills shortages.

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