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WA will be able to handpick permanent migrants to service the booming resources sector and other areas of critical need under a massive overhaul of the skilled migration program to be unveiled today.

Under the changes, Immigration Minister Chris Evans will revoke and refund 20,000 applications from would-be skilled migrants and instead give top priority to those who are sponsored by employers and States for high-level jobs.

The overhaul is geared towards making Australia’s skilled migration super-responsive to urgent shortfalls in qualified mining and health sector workers, while also tightening permanent visa criteria for overseas students studying courses in low skill occupations.

Senator Evans will immediately abolish the Migration Occupations in Demand List, which gazettes 106 areas of preferred workers, replacing it by April with a more targeted Skilled Occupations List drawn up by the independent Federal authority Skills Australia in consultation with the States and business.

It means doctors, nurses, engineers and high-value professions and trades will have priority over low-skilled workers such as hairdressers and chefs.

In WA, as yesterday’s Olivier Jobs Index showed, the most sought after workers are in engineering, trades and services, and building.

In a marked departure from the existing skilled migration scheme, States will be asked to draw up their own migration plans to allow fast-tracking of applications for migrants sponsored by States or companies for specific jobs.

The bar will be raised for unsponsored skilled migration applicants, with criteria such as proficiency in the English language, work experience and overseas qualifications to be made tougher.

The overall annual skilled migration intake will remain unchanged at 108,100 people.

The changes are likely to have a significant impact on the burgeoning multi-billion-dollar overseas student market where hundreds of thousands of foreign students have come to Australia to undergo trades training, enticed by the prospect of permanent residency.

The Government believes such courses are skewing the migration program, leaving new permanent residents with poor English and little prospect of finding work in their nominated field of expertise.

Foreign students in Australia studying in areas dumped from the new skilled occupation hit list will be given 18 months after completion of their studies to find sponsorship from an employer or sent home.

The Government believes the new regime will help the clampdown on unscrupulous migration agents, many of whom are Indian-based, who con students into believing completion of an Australian course gives automatic entitlement to permanent residence. 

The bar will be raised for unsponsored skilled migration applicants, with criteria such as proficiency in the English language, work experience and overseas qualifications to be made tougher.

The overall annual skilled migration intake will remain unchanged at 108,100 people.

The changes are likely to have a significant impact on the burgeoning multi-billion-dollar overseas student market where hundreds of thousands of foreign students have come to Australia to undergo trades training, enticed by the prospect of permanent residency.

The Government believes such courses are skewing the migration program, leaving new permanent residents with poor English and little prospect of finding work in their nominated field of expertise.

Foreign students in Australia studying in areas dumped from the new skilled occupation hit list will be given 18 months after completion of their studies to find sponsorship from an employer or sent home.

The Government believes the new regime will help the clampdown on unscrupulous migration agents, many of whom are Indian-based, who con students into believing completion of an Australian course gives automatic entitlement to permanent residence.

Source  :  www.thewest.com.au

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From 1 January 2010, as part of the skills assessment process for certain onshore GSM applicants who nominate a trade occupation, applicants will be required to demonstrate that they are ‘job ready’. This new requirement will be assessed through the Job Ready Program (previously referred to as the JobReady Test). The Job Ready Program has been developed by the relevant assessing authority, Trades Recognition Australia (TRA), in consultation with industry and unions and will include a workplace assessment by a TRA approved assessor.
The new job ready requirement will ensure that people who wish to migrate to Australia as skilled migrants in trade occupations are able to participate in the labour market in the area of their skills and knowledge. Applicants nominating a trade occupation who apply for certain onshore General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas on or after 1 January 2010 will be required to meet the job ready requirement as part of the skills assessment process. This requirement will enhance current skills assessment arrangements for onshore applicants and complement the existing offshore assessment processes.   
Which occupations and visas will be subject to the new job ready requirement?
 
 

Applicants wishing to migrate to Australia under one of the below visa subclasses and in an allowable trade occupation will be required to satisfy the Job Ready Program’s requirements as part of the skills assessment process. This requirement will apply for applications lodged on or after 1 January 2010.
 
 

Visa subclasses
 
 

The following visa subclasses are subject to the job ready requirement:
 
 

  1. Skilled – Independent (Residence) Visa (Subclass 885)
  2. Skilled – Sponsored (Residence) Visa (Subclass 886)
  3. Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 487)
A list of trade occupations available under the GSM program is available on the department’s website. 

 See: Form 1121i Skilled Occupation List (SOL) and Employer Nomination Scheme Occupation List (ENSOL)

What is the purpose of the job ready requirement?
 
 

A key aim of the GSM program is to provide ‘job ready’ applicants to Australian employers. Job ready migrants are more likely to find employment quickly, which leads to improved settlement outcomes for them.
Assessment through the Job Ready Program ensures that applicants for skilled migration have the skills and knowledge to perform their nominated occupation within the Australian workplace.   
Frequently asked questions
How do I find out if my trade occupation requires me to satisfy the job ready requirement?
 

To determine if your occupation requires you to be assessed under the job ready requirement, that is, the Job Ready Program, you can refer to Form 1121i.
 
 

See: 
Occupations listed as Tradespersons and related workers that are in the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) are required to meet the new requirement. You may also wish to contact the relevant assessing authority for your occupation to determine what is required as part of your skills assessment.  
I lodged my General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa application for permanent migration before 1 January 2010 and have not yet received my skills assessment. Am I required to meet the job ready requirement?
 
 

No. If your application was lodged before 1 January 2010, you are not required to meet the job ready requirement as part of your skills assessment provided your application is for a permanent GSM visa. The requirement applies to applications lodged on or after 1 January 2010 only.
 
 

I am currently on a Subclass 485 visa and have not yet applied for a permanent GSM visa. Will I be required to meet the job ready requirement as I already hold a suitable skills assessment obtained when applying for my Subclass 485 visa?
 
 

If you currently hold a Subclass 485 visa but have not applied for a permanent onshore GSM visa by 1 January 2010, you will be required to obtain a new skills assessment which demonstrates that you are job ready if applicable to your occupation. This will be the case if your trade occupation requires you to provide a skills assessment dated on or after 1 January 2010.
If you are not required to submit a skills assessment dated on or after 1 January 2010 as it is not required for your occupation, you are able to submit an existing skills assessment should you wish to do so.
 

Why do I need to submit a skills assessment dated on after 1 January 2010 if I am required to meet the job ready requirement?
 
 

You will need to provide the department with a skills assessment dated on or after 1 January 2010 if you are required to meet the job ready requirement to ensure your skills have been assessed as ‘job ready’. Skills assessments issued prior to 1 January 2010 have not been assessed against the job ready requirement, while those issued after 1 January 2010 do. 
  
 

 

I am in a trade occupation and applying for an onshore GSM visa (Subclass 487, 885 or 886). Will I be required to meet the job ready requirement from 1 January 2010?
 
 

Yes. If you are nominating a trade occupation, you will need to meet the job ready requirement as part of your skills assessment from 1 January 2010. Applicants who are not applying for a trade occupation will not be required to do so.
 
 

I am applying in a trade occupation through one of the offshore GSM visas. Will I need to satisfy the job ready requirement as part of my skills assessment?
 
 

No. If you are applying for an offshore GSM visa, you will not be required to satisfy the job ready requirement as part of your skills assessment. However, if your occupation is a trade occupation, you will no longer be able to apply to migrate to Australia under the GSM program based on meeting the Australian study requirement. Instead, you must have at least 12 months of work experience in a skilled occupation within the 24 months before you apply in order to qualify for a visa grant.
More information can be found on the department’s website.
 

See: 
How does this affect me making an application for a Subclass 485 visa?
 
 

Applicants for a Subclass 485 visa are unaffected by the introduction of the job ready requirement. Applicants for a Subclass 485 visa will still be required to obtain a skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority before the Subclass 485 visa can be granted. For trade occupations, TRA will still issue skills assessments suitable for applying for a Subclass 485 visa.
 
 

Does this mean my old TRA skills assessment is no longer valid?
 
 

The changes only affect the requirements for the onshore permanent GSM visas in trade occupations. TRA assessments conducted before 1 January 2010 would continue to satisfy the requirements for the onshore lodgement of an application for a Subclass 485 visa, as well as for applications for Subclass 175, 176 and 475 visas. The assessments would also satisfy the department’s requirements for any of the employer sponsored category of visas.
 
 

Where I can find more information regarding the skills assessment process and the Job Ready Program?
 
 

Information regarding the skills assessment process and the Job Ready Program itself should be directed to the relevant assessing authority. For trade occupations, the relevant assessing authority is Trades Recognition Australia.
 
 

See:  Trades Recognition Australia   
Changes to Offshore GSM Applicants Seeking to Meet the Australian Study Requirement from 1 January 2010  

 

 Form 1121i Skilled Occupation List (SOL) and Employer Nomination Scheme Occupation List (ENSOL)  

 

 

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IMMIGRATION officials are preparing a 50-year migration plan to ensure that intakes consider a range of long-term issues such as climate change, water needs and national security.

The Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Andrew Metcalfe, said yesterday the department was conducting a review of the nation’s migration needs to ensure a more rounded and visionary approach.

”In terms of the future, we are trying to lift ourselves away from year-to-year decisions to a 50-year vision,” he told the Australian and New Zealand School of Government conference in Canberra.

”We are trying to move away from an immigration department that is responsive to one that can help the government achieve long-term objectives … A long-term planning framework … is something whose time has come.”

Mr Metcalfe said a well-planned skilled migration program could contribute to Australia’s long-term economic, demographic and environmental goals.

”We want to ensure our skilled migration programs are responding to longer-term skill needs which cannot be addressed through domestic training and skills development,” he said.

”The question then is how we can best address shorter-term labour market requirements … It will be important that the skilled migrants we choose are not only young and healthy but also have a high level of education, language proficiency and other skills. This will ensure that skilled migration contributes both to labour force growth and to the productivity of our labour force.”

Mr Metcalfe said the review will include an examination of the points system used to select skilled migrants, known as the Migration Occupations in Demand List.

”The MODL is not as flexible as we would like to address a rapidly changing and uncertain global environment. In my view, one of themes of this century will be the increased mobility of people around the globe, and we need to manage this adroitly.”

But the Government has denied it has adopted a new policy towards asylum seekers in the wake of a decision this week to process a group of 10 Afghan children on the mainland rather than on Christmas Island.

”These are 10 unaccompanied minors and therefore what’s happened is that they’ve been transferred from Christmas Island to the mainland on September 2,” he said

Asked whether there had been a change of policy, the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, said: ”Absolutely not.”

He told 3AW yesterday the group of 10 children had been transferred to the mainland because unaccompanied minors were given priority in processing.

”That’s what’s happening in the case of these minors,” he said. ”That’s why they’re treated separately.”

Source  :  www.smh.com.au

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THE education export industry has to find a new way to prosper now that the government has made it harder for would-be migrants to use study as a route to permanent residency, social researcher Bob Birrell says.

In the Monash University journal People and Place, Dr Birrell said the industry, whose phenomenal growth had been helped by foreign students seeking permanent residency as skilled migrants, had reached a crossroads.

Dr Birrell is co-director of Monash’s Centre for Population and Urban Research, People and Place’s publisher.

He said a change to the skilled migration rules in December last year, coupled with other reforms, would put permanent residency beyond the reach of many former overseas students with poor English, little work experience and low-value qualifications in hospitality and cooking.

“Those providers who have built their business around marketing a credential that will lead to permanent residence must refocus their business,” he said. “They need to sell credentials that overseas students believe they can take back to their country of origin with profit.”

But Dennis Murray, executive director of the International Education Association of Australia, said the new rules would have little effect on universities although they would cut growth in hospitality courses. “We don’t see a wholesale collapse of the industry, which is what Bob would like to see,” he said.

Dr Birrell argued the appeal of permanent residency and lax rules for skilled migration delivered strong growth in business and information technology courses at universities in the early 2000s and even more dramatic growth since 2005 in hospitality, cooking and hairdressing courses at private colleges and TAFE institutes.

But the education business had come to distort the migration program, producing graduates ill-equipped or uninterested in the jobs they were supposedly trained for. Dr Birrell said the government took a stand, culminating in the tough new rules of December last year, but the surge in student numbers had carried through into the first few months of this year, for which there was official data.

“My expectation would be that the enrolments in the hospitality area will decline significantly once the message gets back via the recruitment network to the countries of origin,” he said.

Dr Birrell said higher education also would lose fee income because graduates in accounting, a field that had enjoyed strong growth, had to have better English or take on an extra year of professional training.

But he said the government needed to back its tough policy changes with a clearer message to the industry. Instead, it had allowed more than 40,000 former students to stay on temporary and bridging visas, even though most had little chance of securing permanent residency. Most had taken up temporary visas created to soften the blow of September 2007 reforms aimed at the poor English and poor employment prospects of former students.

Dr Birrell said another, sizeable group had found a loophole. In the year to May the Department of Immigration and Citizenship had allowed 15,417 former students to apply for permanent residency as skilled migrants, despite their lacking occupations on the tough new critical skills list ushered in last December. The department had put off the processing of applications by those lacking critical skills, meaning these students remained on bridging visas.

The department’s decision to accept these applications, and the $2105 fee, was “contentious and unwise” because it suggested these students eventually might win permanent residency despite not meeting the tight new rules.

“I think there’s something of a battle going on within government as to which should be given priority: the maintenance of the (overseas student) industry on the one hand and dealing with the immigration problems generated by it on the other,” Dr Birrell said.

An Immigration Department spokesman said the government was pursuing a more carefully targeted migration program, given the difficult economic times.

“Australia is giving priority to those people sponsored by employers or on the critical skills list, thus ensuring the nation gets people with the skills the economy and employers need,” he said.

Source  :  www.theaustralian.news.com.au

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Bill Gates wouldn’t get a job in Australia because he has no local experience,’’ says Ailis Logan, the founder of Tribus Lingua, a consultancy assisting skilled migrants find jobs. Logan is only half joking.

She believes that Australian employers value local experience much more than their counterparts in Europe and the US.

For the many overseas professionals enticed here by the lure of a bountiful job market, the difficulty of finding a job without local experience is no joke.

What does “no local experience’’ really mean?

Are we so parochial that we’d reject Bill Gates if he sent us his resume?

Do we run our businesses in a uniquely Australian way?

Many of us will go overseas to work, valuing the career and life experience we bring back-yet we appear to view the experience that others bring here with suspicion.

Ian Little, the author of Project Australia: Land that Engineering Job in Australia, suggests our geographic isolation has contributed to our conservatism. As the senior engineering manager at engineering giant Worely Parsons, he’s hired many overseas professionals.

He believes that a lack of Australian experience is actually the biggest barrier any newcomer will face. Employers appear worried about the communication skills of skilled immigrants.

Poorly written resumes from overseas professionals may fuel employers’ doubts about immigrants’ communication skills. Little and Logan say they see many bad resumes from recent arrivals.

This makes it harder for employers to assess overseas experience.

Logan recommends that newcomers provide context around places they’ve worked, including the challenges and drivers of the businesses they’ve worked in. It can be difficult to read a resume in isolation of preconceived ideas about a nationality.

It would be naive to suggest that people never discriminate, but Little certainly doesn’t believe many Australians are inherently racist. When it comes to hiring he thinks Australian employers are just risk-averse.

“People will still encounter difficulties when they want to switch industries,’’ he says. “Employers don’t realise how tough times are, and they need to get flexible.’’

But even if everyone spoke English, misunderstandings about meanings can be common. Logan suggests our easy-going expressions can easily .

“Australians appear casual, but are not casual at all,’’ she says. “Come in for a chat’ can mean a formal interview, so you need to be prepared.’’

But perhaps there’s more going on than verbal confusion. Body language plays its part in defining meaning and each culture uses this differently.

Aparna Hebbani, an academic and researcher into intercultural communication in interviews at the University of Queensland says “non-verbals’’ such as a academic and researchercontribute to an estimated 66 per cent of meaning in social interaction.

She’s seen many cross-cultural misunderstandings in an interview. “If an Indian interviewee, for example, does not make ‘appropriate’ levels of eye contact with an Australian interviewer, they can interpret that as a lack confidence or not being truthful,’’ she says. “But the interviewee might not look into the interviewer’s eye out of respect.’’

The way different cultures see interviews may be detrimental to their chances of success. Little claims some have a “servant attitude’’ when it comes to marketing their skills.

“An employment contract is a two-way thing. I’ve not seen many overseas professionals who understand that,’’ he says. “They don’t understand that they have something to offer.’’

Confused communication aside, what are other risks in recruiting a newcomer? Logan and Little say that new arrivals need to understand Australian law, regulations and codes plus the general rules of Australian business practice. But Little suggests in engineering that employers’ perception that newcomers can’t adapt is greater than reality.

“Engineering is an applied science-the laws of science do not change,’’ he says.

In some professions the local learning curve is steeper and longer. Accounting is one example. David Smith, a former partner of accounting firm PKF and ex-president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, runs Smithink, a management consultancy advising accountants.

He sees the employers’ concern over communication skills of immigrants and their ability to understand the highly complex Australian tax system and superannuation laws as major barriers for accountants new to Australia.

Logan says overseas professionals need to understand that the structure of the Australian economy is “old-fashioned’’, with up to 70 per cent of businesses classified small-medium.

The accounting industry reflects this statistic. Smith suggests a typical small-business accounting firm will find it hard to embrace new arrivals who cannot hit the ground running.

Small firms struggle to verify skills, have limited resources for training and perhaps less patience for the newcomer under pressure.

There are other barriers that make it difficult for newcomers to find jobs. Smith and Little suggest that employers need to assess attitude when it comes to hiring overseas professionals, as this makes a big difference in how quickly people will adapt.

Little says employers’ rigid recruitment practices can prevent this. “Many employers are stuck in a 1980s way of thinking. In that decade there were lots of people to choose from and some fairly militant unionism. Employers found that if they didn’t select the right person [the union] would be likely to challenge. They needed a bullet-proof system.’’

She believes employers should build teams-instead of filling holes when they hire-matching weaknesses in skill sets with complementary strengths.

HR professionals would argue that recruitment processes have evolved. The larger firms often spend many thousands of dollars identifying what makes the company tick before writing it into recruitment practice, hoping to recruit candidates with the right attitude.

Yet the “right attitude’’ is nuanced, notoriously difficult to codify and assess from an appraisal of a resume and the more traditional interview.

Also keeping candidates at a distance are recruitment consultants and online resume screening software.

Many employers’ online careers pages do not have a contact name or number. It can be difficult for applicants to talk directly to someone with close knowledge of the core business who can give them a realistic appraisal of their fit.

Little sees many benefits for organisations willing to open their doors a little wider. While he has observed overseas engineers having a slower path to productivity than their Australian equivalents, he notes the longer term rewards of hiring them as a bonus.

“They are less likely to move on than an Australian hire and they have a great work ethic and less baggage from their background,’’ he says. “They bring new skills not available in Australia, and support our international operations with their knowledge and language skills.’’

Source : www.careerone.com.au

More Information  :  www.tribuslingua.com.au

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G’dayUK 2009 is a series of events positioning Australia as an innovative and thriving economy. The aim is to encourage British companies and1201173161413australia-flag consumers alike to take another look at Australia as a great place to invest in, work, holiday, do business with and generally get to know.

By highlighting the unique range of skills, resources and opportunities offered by Australia, the heavy-weight burst of activity aims to reinforce business and consumer partnerships between the two nations by focusing on four main areas: trade & investment, food & wine, migration and tourism.

Whilst G’dayUK has a serious message, the week will also be a vibrant celebration of uniquely Australian products, people, places, businesses, skills and attitude and an invitation for the British to get involved. A stellar cast of well-known Australians, including politicians, business leaders, artists, winemakers and chefs will showcase Australia as a modern, energetic and desirable business and leisure destination.

G’dayUK 2009 is supported by the New South Wales, Queensland, South Australian, Victorian and Western Australian State Governments, Australian Trade Commission, Qantas and Tourism Australia in conjunction with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Wine Australia, Australian Business and kselfridgesey private sector sponsors.

G’Day UK 2009 is a chance for Australian celebrities, governments, businesses and agencies to show off the sunshine in Australia.

Two week’s worth of events will showcase Australia as a place of investment, tourism, business, and more importantly, as a prime destination for skilled migrants.

The G’Day UK Week will begin with a Manchester Migration Open Day on the 21 June, and will end with tasting premium Australian wines and Australian-themed food and wine menus cooked by Michelin-starred chefs on the 4 July in Selfridges, Oxford Street, London.

All information at http://www.gday-uk.co.uk/events

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