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These occupations may change in next year's skilled occupation list

Source: Getty

While the medium and long-term strategic skills list is likely to remain unchanged, changes to occupations have been flagged for the short-term list.

Australia runs one of the largest immigration programs in the world, adding nearly 200,000 migrants each year.

This year in April, the Government overhauled the temporary sponsored visas system and changed the list of eligible occupations for both permanent and temporary visas, which are now called the 'short-term skilled occupation list' (STSOL) 'and medium and long-term strategic skill list' (MLTSSL).

The Department of Employment is responsible for undertaking a regular review of the occupation lists used for skilled migration to meet short-term and long-term needs of the Australian economy. It was earlier done by the Department of Education and Training.

Though the medium and long-term strategic skill list is likely to remain the same, the STSOL which is a list of occupations nominated for temporary and short-term visas may see some changes that are likely to affect migrants from South Asian communities.

The department has flagged the occupations of Accommodation and Hospitality manager, Hair or Beauty Salon Manager, Recruitment Consultant and Building Associate for removal from the Short-term Skilled Occupation List.

At the same time, it proposes to add University Tutor, Psychotherapist, Property Manager, Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Representative to the list.

Melbourne-based migration agent Sooraj Handa says the changes in the occupation list will affect many Indian and South Asian students and migrants.

“A large number of Indian students are currently enrolled in courses related to hospitality and beauty occupations because they had a pathway to residency. Now, these students will either lose that pathway or enroll in other courses that are likely to get them a chance at the permanent residency,” he told SBS Punjabi.

Mr Handa says the occupations flagged for inclusion in the list are a good news for the South-Asian community.

“If you go to the outer west or outer southeast of Melbourne, you will see many Indians working in the real estate industry. The inclusion of occupations related to real estate shows more workers are required to meet the need of the industry. If these occupations are added to the list, we will see a rise in the number of students enrolling in courses related to these occupations."

Taney Jain, a real estate agent in Melbourne's outer west, says the move will open doors to more migrants wanting to work in the industry. 

"It's good for prospective migrants and it's definitely good for the government as real estate transactions contribute immensely to the economy. But unlike IT or some other fields, those wanting to work in this industry in Australia will be required to reskill themselves because of difference in laws and regulations," he says. 

The Department of Employment hasn’t proposed any changes to the medium and long-term strategic skills list due to the “substantial changes” in the skilled migration occupation lists in April and July this year.  It says the Government has “prioritised continuity and stability”.

The department is currently holding a public consultation on the potential changes to these lists and is seeking feedback on the flagged changes. The review is open until 1st December. 

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