Jobs & Skills Summit Introduces New Changes
The recently held Jobs and Skills Summit was designed to highlight Australia’s skills shortage problem and unemployment rate with higher productivity of Australia’s existing workforce and to modify its migration program to include more workers in industries and professions that are in demand.
The second day of the summit focused on immigration-related results and where regulations could have instant and future effects. Three essential outcomes, which were anticipated, were made public by the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs shortly after.
Rise In Permanent Migration Positions, From 160,000 To 195,000
Australia’s permanent migration influx for the present program year will increase by 35,000 positions to 195,000.
The total number of skilled visas will grow from 109,900 to 142,400, rising by around 30 per cent. This is compared to an increase of family visas from 50,000 to 52,500, a 5 per cent growth. The distinction is possibly because the summit was intended to add to the number of skilled migrants.
The increased skilled visas are further divided into:
Regional visas: 34,000 positions, up from 25,000 positions, an increment of 42 per cent.
State/Territory Nominated visas: 31,000 positions, up from 20,000 positions, an increment of 55 per cent.
Where the other 32,500 extra skilled positions will go is not currently known. Diverting most of the additional places in the previously mentioned streams makes sense as, generally, regional areas have heightened unemployment and states and territories can modify their nomination criteria to fit according to their skill requirements within the limits of the regulations for the subclass 190 – Skilled Nominated visa and subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa.
Subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate Visas Increase By Two Years For Some Degrees
International graduates who have studied specific degrees will see the sum of years for their subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate visa under the Post Study stream increase by two years based on what degree qualification they acquire. The Minister for Home Affairs announced that those who complete degrees in specific fields will get an extra two years. This means that:
- For Bachelor’s degrees, a visa for four years instead of two years
- For Master’s degrees, a visa for five years instead of three years, and
- For Doctoral degrees – a visa for six years instead of four years.
There were no details provided for what specific areas of verified skill shortages will be eligible as a select field, but taking into consideration the industries quoted in the summit and media, it is predicted to be information technology, nursing, and education for starters.
A visa with a longer validity will allow international graduates to acquire relevant work experience in their occupations. For those who want to become permanent residents, a longer visa may aid them in meeting the criteria for work experience for other visas, which are usually as follows:
- A minimum of two years of full-time work experience for Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visa,
- A minimum of three years of full-time work experience for Subclass 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme visa, and
- At least three years of full-time work experience for Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa.
More Resources To Deal With The Visa Backlog
At last, more resources will be given to work through the backlog of visa applications. This involves $36.1 million in extra funding to mainly hire around 500 more visa processing staff members over the next nine months. This is in tandem with shifting other staff to processing.
Per a recent report, there were around 962,000 unique non-humanitarian visa applications in May 2022, of which 150,000 were for skilled visas.
There was no notification of any increase to the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT). This was presumably because of the wishes of the organisers of the summit to have agreed-upon results. Stakeholders had clashing ideas on just how much the TSMIT should be increased. However, this does not mean that a change to the TSMIT is not upcoming.
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