Australia Reviews Occupations Requiring Immigrants for Skills Shortage

The Australian government has planned to overhaul the immigration system for driving its economic growth and meeting the demand for overseas workers in a number of sectors.  

The Government Review

The government is undertaking a review of the skilled migration list of occupations for determining the type of jobs that the overseas workers can fill. 

Michaelia Cash, the Minister for Employment and Skills has announced the review as a result of the concerns the present list that covers 500 jobs as it fails to reflect the demand for skilled foreign workers in several sectors. These concerns are considered and there is a commitment to ensure that there are no barriers in the economic growth of the country.

This review of lists, last updated in March 2019, will focus on availability of workers for supporting the 10-year Government Infrastructure Program worth $100 billion. 

Skilled immigration was always a part of prosperity, and also there is a need to ensure to get proper skilled immigrants to fill the skills shortage.

The Figures are Revealing

In the last Financial Year, authorities granted 80,000 skilled visas and the jobs in the ICT sector had maximum popularity.  The new types of jobs like the data scientists cannot be added because the occupation list is limited by the classification of standard workers and it is not updated since 2013. Jarrod Ball, An economist stated that it was difficult for employers, in the technology sector. After 2013 there were many changes in the labor market, leading to many new occupations that are not easily brought under skilled immigration owing to legacy issues requiring further dealing. 

The Global Talent Scheme was implemented to enable talents in the technology industry, and for start ups, to hire top and qualified overseas skilled workers, but these jobs need a reflection in the skilled immigration system

Regional Focus and Australian Immigration

The review examines jobs on separate lists that cover temporary skilled workers, stays for medium and long term and finally the regional occupations.  The government is adopting a policy of busting congestion, and there are new visas created for encouraging the migrants to live/work in areas outside the most important cities.

There is mixed evidence regarding the success of earlier attempts for boosting the numbers among skilled foreign workers in regional areas. 

People take up several opportunities in regional areas for a short term and stay there for two years subsequently moving to major cities. They end up taking higher roles involving higher skills and a good pay.


The authorities are consulting the stakeholders and the occupation lists will be updated in March 2020.  The Migration Program of Australia requires that two thirds among the permanent visas are granted in Australia specifically to the skilled migrants. 

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