Last Saturday’s edition of “The Australian” carried a front page story reporting that the occupations of chef, tiler and bricklayer are to be added to the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) on 1 July 2014.
This will mean that people in such occupations can apply for Subclass 189 visas independently rather than having to apply for Subclass 186 or 187 visas sponsored by an employer.
Documents seen by The Weekend Australian also show the agency that recommended the changes acknowledged the inclusion of chefs could result in “exploitation of the training system for permanent residency’’.
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.
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