Bricklayers, Chefs, and Tilers Added to the Skilled Occupations List

The Australian (one of the two Australian national newspapers) is reporting today that chefs, bricklayers and tilers are to be added to the SOL.

Coalition opens way for foreign chefs, brickies

“THOUSANDS of foreign chefs, bricklayers and tilers will no longer have to be sponsored by employers to obtain permanent visas, as the Abbott government eases skilled migration rules to address alleged labour shortages.

Under changes backed by business groups, the three professions have been added to the Skilled Occupation List from July, meaning these workers will be able to apply for a permanent visa without requiring a sponsor.

Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Michaelia Cash said the addition of the three professions would be welcomed in regional areas where there was increased demand for these jobs but “a decrease in apprenticeship completions’’.

“As an island nation with a small population, a sustainable human capital strategy for Australia must be readily available to safeguard business from labour and skills shortages,’’ Senator Cash said.

“However, it would be simplistic to say that there is always an Australian willing and available to fill a particular position in various geographical locations within Australia, and it is the role of the skilled migration program to fill the gap.’’

Under the general skilled migration program, professionals and other skilled migrants can enter Australia without being sponsored by an employer. While they have to nominate an occupation on the skilled occupation list, there is no obligation for them to work in that occupation.

The government has capped the program at 43,990 skilled visas next financial year. For each of the professions on the list, the number of positions available is capped at 6 per cent of the occupation’s workforce.

Senator Cash said the government had decided to set the cap for chefs at 3 per cent for an initial six months.

According to the ABS Labour Force survey, about 76,100 chefs, 23,360 bricklayers and 15,800 floor and wall tilers work in Australia.

Under the 3 per cent cap, up to 2283 overseas chefs could apply for a place in the program, rising to 4566 if the cap went to 6 per cent. For bricklayers, the maximum number would be 1401, and 948 for floor and wall tilers.

Senator Cash stressed the changes would not result in thousands of extra foreign workers coming to Australia. Given total places remained capped at the same level, the entry of additional chefs, bricklayers and tilers would result in less places being approved among the existing 188 occupations on the list.”

While we have yet to see the formal announcement of changes to the Skilled Occupations List, The Australian is a well regarded source of news. If you are a Chef, a Bricklayer, or a Wall and Floor Tiler, want to migrate to Australia, and have at least the minimum required points for a general skilled visa – ie 60 points or more – GM Skilled encourages you to progress your skills assessment straightaway, so you are in a position to lodge an Expression of Interest at the earliest opportunity.

Contact your nearest GM Skilled office or complete the enquiry form on this page to discuss your situation, your visa option, and how we might help.

Our fees are agreed in advance, are fixed in amount, and payable in instalments.

Note: At present these 3 occupations are on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List, or CSOL. Individuals with an occupation that is on the CSOL and not on the SOL require sponsorship from an employer or a State/Territory Government to be able to migrate to Australia.