Immigration Minister says Australian immigration reforms will deliver the skills needed

10 February 2010

Immigration Minister Chris Evans had the following to say:

The Australian Rudd Government is reforming Australian skilled immigration so that the immigration system will better deal with the needs of industry and employers now and in the future.

The Australian Government has said that immigration should be demand rather than supply driven. It should meet the needs of the economy in where there are shortages of highly skilled workers currently in healthcare, engineering and mining. The major changes to skilled migration are as follows:

Immigration Minister Chris Evan said that first priority would be given to skilled migrants with an Australian job offer. It will be more difficult for those without a job offer. Mr Evans also had the following to say:

'There are plenty of occupations where there is an adequate supply of young Australians coming through our schools, TAFE colleges and universities to take up new job opportunities. They must be given the opportunity to fill these vacancies first.'

'But there are some occupations where there will be high demand for skills. Hospitals can't go without nurses, country towns can't do without a local GP and the resources sector increasingly needs skills.

'These latest changes will continue reforms already implemented by the government and result in a more demand-driven skilled migration program that attracts highly skilled migrants to Australia to work in areas of critical need.'

There are some transitional arrangements as the changes may affect some students currently in Australia. International students with a vocational, higher education or postgraduate student visa will be able to apply for skilled immigration if their occupation is on the new Skilled Occupations List. If the students do not have an occupation on the new Skilled occupation they have until 31 December 2012 to apply for a temporary skilled graduate visa after completing their studies. They can then spend 18 months in Australia to gain work experience and find a job.