Australian Government warned removals from skilled visa list will cost jobs

by Ray Clancy on June 28, 2017

in Jobs in Australia

The resources and energy industry and Australia is hoping that a number of key jobs in high priority positions will be permitted under new visa changes for skilled overseas visa applications which come into force in a few days.

The Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) says that banning 23 occupations from the skilled via list, due to be effective from 01 July, will inevitably cost jobs and drive up energy prices.

Mining Jobs

(pkproject/Bigstock.com)

‘These changes to skilled migration have been painted as a saviour for Australian jobs, however, in reality these changes are likely to do the opposite; it will hold Australians back,’ said AMMA chief executive Steve Knott.

‘The reality is that some specific technologies crucial to projects have not been used in Australia before or for long enough for Australians to have developed the skills and experience to do the job,’ he explained.

‘It puts the whole operation and associated Australian jobs in jeopardy when broad classifications do not capture very specific experience that is required to do a job, or operate a particular piece of equipment, that is being brought to Australia from elsewhere in the world,’ he pointed out.

‘It’s like saying that a specialist surgeon cannot be brought into Australia to operate because they are not Australian, and that there should be an Australian who can already do this work,’ he added.

He used as an example a specialist driller or petroleum engineer who has 20 years’ industry experience in a technology that has only just started being used in Australia would not be able to get a short term visa to do the work and give Australians access to training and experience.

The AMMA believes that the changes to the skilled migration policy stops the development of Australians jobs. ‘It stops the ability of Australians to get access to experience that will further their careers. It also stops the development of industry, inevitably holding Australia back as a country,’ Knott said.

‘It stops the development of the energy and resource industry in Australia at a time when energy security is vital given the forecasted gas shortage. The removal of broad occupations without a mechanism for Australia to respond when specific skill sets and technology is required in our country quite simply holds Australia back,’ he concluded.

The AMMA is calling for 23 occupations to be reclassified, including aircraft pilot, aircraft maintenance engineer, civil engineer technician, driller, marine surveyor, geophysicist, flying instructor, helicopter pilot, petroleum engineer and mining production manager.

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