Joint Standing committee of Australian Parliament's enquiry into Australia's Skilled Migration
Australian Parliament's Joint Standing Committee enquiry into Australia's Skilled Migration Program.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic Australia was forced to shut it's borders to the world. As a result, more than 500,000 temporary migrants have left Australia since March 2020. Many of those temporary migrants were skilled migrants. Net overseas migration continues to be in negative territory with a further 77,000 people expected to leave Australia in the 2021-22 financial year. The lack of skilled migrants and near record low unemployment has resulted in major skill shortages in the Australian economy. On 3 February2021, the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, the Hon Alex Hawke MP, referred an inquiry into Australia’s Skilled Migration Program to the Committee. Some of the recommendations are:
1. Medium and Long Terms Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) into one list: the Skilled Occupation List(SOL).
2. PMSOL should be replaced by an Acute and Persistent Skills Shortage List (APSSL).
3. Change the visa conditions for the short-term stream of the Temporary Skills Shortage visa (subclass 482) to provide a pathway to permanent residency.
4. All employer nominated visas should provide the option of a pathway to permanency.
5. In Regional Areas; Labour Market Testing advertising can be up to 12 months before lodging a nomination application, Raise the age limit to 50, English language requirements at vocational English, Reduction of prior experience required in occupation to 2 years and Priority visa processing.
6. Exemption for businesses from Labour Market Testing when a 457 or482 visa holder has been employed in the position on a full-time basis for twelve months or more and prior to their lodgement of a subsequent visa application or a permanent residence application.
7. Employers should be exempt from paying the Skilling Australia Fund levy twice for the same applicant, or for a subsequent visa, where the employer has already paid the Skilling Australia Fund levy for that employee.
8. Government guarantee a refund of the Skilling Australia Fund levy where the visa application is unsuccessful and where there is no evidence of fraud on the part of the sponsor or applicant.
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