August 9th, 2021

Final report on Government skilled migration program

Libk to Government report

List of Recommendations

Recommendation 1
2.45 The Committee recommends that building on the work of the National Skills
Commission (NSC) and the Skilled Migration Officials Group, the Federal
Government develop a dynamic national workforce plan. The plan would
co-ordinate the efforts of State and Federal Governments to ensure
Australia’s persistent skills shortages and future workforce needs are
addressed through Australia’s higher education and vocational education
systems, employment services and the skilled migration program. This plan
should be regularly updated. In order to develop the plan:
 A cross-portfolio, cross-jurisdictional interagency committee (IAC)
should be established, meet regularly, and comprise decision-makers
from departments and agencies, led by the NSC.
 The NSC and relevant data collection bodies should also develop a data
aggregation system that identifies skills shortages at a regional level by
occupation.

Recommendation 2
2.107 The National Skills Commission should develop a new occupation and/or
skills identification system for the skilled migration program in consultation
with industry to replace ANZSCO. The new system should be more flexible
to adapt to emerging labour market needs, with consideration given to how
the new system would integrate with other functions of government
currently utilising the ANZSCO.
x

Recommendation 3
2.126 The Committee recommends that the Government:
 Develop accepted definitions of acute skills shortages and persistent
skills shortages taking into account:
 Recruitment difficulty
 Length of time the shortage has existed
 Number of job vacancies and the geographic spread of vacancies
 Criticality of the occupation if left unfilled (e.g. nurses and general
practitioners)
 Criticality of the occupation to temporary circumstances (e.g.
bushfires, floods or pandemics).
 Provide employers looking to fill jobs on the PMSOL with more
streamlined processes.

Recommendation 4
2.152 The Committee recommends that the Government consolidate the Medium
and Long Terms Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and Short Term Skilled
Occupation List (STSOL) into one list: the Skilled Occupation List (SOL).

Recommendation 5
2.153 The Committee recommends that when the pandemic is concluded the
PMSOL should be replaced by an Acute and Persistent Skills Shortage List
(APSSL).

Recommendation 6
2.154 The Committee recommends that the skills lists be regularly reviewed.

Recommendation 7
2.185 The Committee recommends that the Department of Home Affairs should
change the visa conditions for the short-term stream of the Temporary Skills
Shortage visa (subclass 482) to provide a pathway to permanent residency
for temporary migrants.
xi

 All employer nominated visas should provide the option of a pathway
to permanency. The length of time to permanency and the conditions
involved may vary from visa to visa with, for instance, applicants in
lower skilled occupations taking longer to reach permanency than more
highly skilled visa holders.
 Conditions for permanency should continue to include:
 Competent English language ability; and
 Applicants should be under the age of 45.

Recommendation 8
3.30 The Committee recommends that the Government provide further
concessions for temporary regional visas, including:
 Labour Market Testing advertising can be up to 12 months before
lodging a nomination application
 Raise the age limit to 50
 English language requirements at vocational English
 Reduction of prior experience required in occupation to 2 years and
 Priority visa processing.

Recommendation 9
3.45 The Government should revisit the recommendations of the Review of the
Temporary Skilled Migrant Income Threshold (TSMIT) (2017) in order to
increase the TSMIT. Such a change should be made with consideration of
exemptions or different rates for jobs in regional areas.

Recommendation 10
3.73 The Committee recommends the Government consider changes to post-
study work arrangements for a subset of international student graduates
where those graduates have:
xii

 Undertaken a university course (or a course run by a reputable non-
university higher education provider) leading to a job in an occupation
with a persistent skills shortage
 Demonstrated excellence for instance by graduating in the top ten per
cent of all graduates in their course or achieving first class honours
 Met relevant English language standards
 On graduation, worked in a job that is relevant to their field of study
with a persistent skills shortage Such graduates would be eligible for a discount on the work experience
component for permanent residency under the employer nominated scheme
from three years to two years. For graduates applying for a points-based visa, additional points could be
awarded for those graduates meeting the above criteria. The Government should also consider longer temporary graduate visas of
three years to provide time and flexibility for graduates to find work. As a special integrity measure the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards
Agency should undertake special and regular audits of the assessment of
excellence measure to ensure standards are maintained.

Recommendation 11
3.83 The Committee recommends that Government enable intra-company
transfer of executive employees of multinational companies to Australia
where necessary for these companies to expand their operations in
Australia. Streamlining should include an exemption from labour market
testing. This measure should be subject to other strict integrity measures.
Consideration should be given to whether a separate visa category is
necessary to enable intra-company executive transfers.

Recommendation 12
3.112 The Committee recommends that the Department of Home Affairs update
their visa processing system to ensure a more streamlined visa application
process for applicants and employers.
xiii

Recommendation 13
3.113 The Committee recommends that the Department of Home Affairs
undertake to improve their customer service in the skilled migration
program with consideration given to:
 Establishing industry liaison officers to assist businesses in navigating
the skilled migration program and provide feedback to the Department
on emerging conditions in industry
 Provision of a specialist triage system to provide advice on complex visa
applications including
 Making officials available to discuss visa applications over the
phone
 Allowing skilled visa applicants and employers the opportunity to
correct minor discrepancies without having to restart the
application.

Recommendation 14
4.34 The Committee recommends that the Government temporarily extend the
timeframe for employers to undertake Labour Market Testing prior to
nomination from 4 months to 6 months during the pandemic recovery.

Recommendation 15
4.35 The Committee recommends that the Government exempt businesses from
Labour Market Testing when a 457 or 482 visa holder has been employed in
the position on a full-time basis for twelve months or more and prior to their
lodgement of a subsequent visa application or a permanent residence
application.

Recommendation 16
4.67 The Committee recommends that employers should be exempt from paying
the Skilling Australia Fund levy twice for the same applicant, or for a
subsequent visa, where the employer has already paid the Skilling Australia
Fund levy for that employee.
xiv

Recommendation 17
4.68 The Committee recommends that universities should be exempt from the
Skilling Australia Fund levy.

Recommendation 18
4.69 The Committee recommends that the Government guarantee a refund of the
Skilling Australia Fund levy where the visa application is unsuccessful and
where there is no evidence of fraud on the part of the sponsor or applicant.

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