Skills Australia is in the process of developing the new Specialised Occupation List (SOL). This should result in the creation of a new list that is tightly evaluated and which restricts the number and type of occupations on the list. This will in turn assist in enhancing immigration management for Australia.
The past blow-out in points-eligible occupations by a non-transparent occupations listing system was a key contributing factor in fostering the dramatic growth of low quality, short course based migration.
So the Skills Australia SOL process is now a crucial one for Australia and, especially so for Australia's universities and other education providers.
Given the role accorded Skills Australia, it is important that it ensure that SOL occupations meet the criteria of advanced skill, long lead time and national priority occupations. This must be interpreted clearly as focussing on Australia's medium to long-term skill needs. The temptation to focus on short term labour market needs must be avoided since these are what are best addressed by standard market processes and temporary migration.
Medium and long-term needs are best indicated by evidence of prolonged existing or prospective shortages of large magnitude relative to the size of the domestic labour force. Prolonged means that market processes and/or temporary migration will not be adequate to the national need here.
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