Log in

Can we help?    Email us here.



CCF pushing back as draft migration list overlooks civil skills

5 Jun 2024 9:28 AM | Andy Graham (Administrator)

Federal Government advisory body Jobs and Skills Australia has copped some criticism this week for its draft Core Skills Occupation List (CSOL), which will define the occupations eligible for the new Core Skills Pathway – a key component of Federal skilled migration reforms.

Jobs and Skills Australia published three lists: skilled occupations it’s confident should be on the CSOL; occupations it’s sure shouldn’t be; and occupations it was unsure about.

Looking at these three lists, some have wondered if Jobs and Skills Australia is aware there’s a housing crisis fuelled by critical construction skills shortages. The Urban Taskforce Australia asked why yoga instructors and dog handlers are on the ‘confident on’ list while bricklayers, glaziers and plasterers are not. Master Builders CEO Denita Wawn said : “We cannot build homes with wellness instructors, we need tradies, and they must be on the definite list for skilled migration.”

We agree, but there’s a more fundamental problem, and that is the total absence of trade-level civil construction skills from any of the CSOL consultation lists.

Before the bricklayers and plasterers can do their stuff, the civil construction trades have to do theirs first. Without housing-enabling civil infrastructure, new home builds cannot commence. But you won’t find any trade-level civil construction occupations on the CSOL.

In drafting the CSOL, Jobs and Skills Australia has only considered occupations classed at Skill Levels 1,2 and 3 in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO). Civil construction occupations such as excavator operator and pipelayer are classed at ANZSCO Skill Level 4, so they weren’t even considered for the CSOL.

Frustratingly for our sector, this omission ignores the government's clear intent in its Migration Strategy, which states that the Core Skills Pathway may include “trades workers, machinery operators and drivers, and labourers”, i.e. Skill Level 4 and 5 occupations – subject to those occupations being on the CSOL and workers being paid above the TSMIT.

The writers of the Migration Strategy clearly signalled that they want to see common-sense skilled migration settings that break away from ANZSCO’s outdated and inflexible definition of ‘skilled’. Jobs and Skills Australia seems to have missed this signal.

When the Migration Strategy was published (December 2023), CCF welcomed the proposed Core Skills Pathway. We noted that civil construction 'tradies' had been locked out of our country’s skilled migration pathways for too long due to ANZSCO’s outdated classifications.

Now we find that Jobs and Skills Australia has decided to stick with the ANZSCO ‘rules’ despite the Migration Strategy clearly inviting a more flexible, common-sense approach.

As the voice of our industry, CCF has pointed all of this out in our submission to Jobs and Skills Australia CSOL consultation. But the terms of reference for the consultation made it clear that they are only considering ANZSCO Skill Level 1-3 occupations, so we're not hopeful.

Hopefully though this is just a roadblock and the Federal Immigration Minister, who has the final say, will rule in favour of common sense and include skilled civil construction occupations -- and bricklayers and plasterers too!

- Andy Graham, CCF WA CEO

Can't find what you're looking for? Search here ...

Contact CCF WA

Phone:  (08) 9414 1486
Email: General enquiries

70 Verde Drive, 
Jandakot WA 6164

© 2024 Civil Contractors Federation Western Australia (CCF WA) | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Website Design : Advance Association Management

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software