New migrants test will not address skills shortage in Australia

21:50, November 11, 2010      

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A new points test for skilled migrants will not address the skills shortage in Australia, the Australian Industry Group said on Thursday.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen on Thursday announced a new points system to assess skilled migrants, which designed to ensure no single factor guaranteed migration.

According to Bowen, the changes were an important next step in a series of reforms to the skilled migration program.

"The reforms set the foundations for a skilled migration program that will be responsive to our economic needs and continue to serve Australia's interests in the medium to long term," Bowen said in a statement on Thursday, adding that the test had been formulated following widespread consultation and research review, and the new system would ensure the best and brightest potential migrants were selected.

Under the new test the number of points required to pass has been adjusted from 120 to 65.

The list of valued vocations was slashed from 400 to 181 in the revised list. Among those cut were private dance teachers, piano tuners and naturopaths.

Potential migrants with competent English skills do not score any points in the new system, and those with proficient or superior English skills will score fewer points than they would under the old points test.

Overseas doctorates would be recognized with the same amount of points as Australian doctorates under the new test in contrast to the old system in which overseas PHDs did not attract any points.

Also in the new system, university graduates will receive 15 points compared to skilled tradesmen who receive 10 points.

However, Australian Industry Group chief executive Heather Ridout said issues of implementation, particularly around the skilled trades should be adjusted.

"In particular, the decision to give fewer points to the skilled trades compared with university qualifications does not adequately reflect the critical need for trade skills in our economy," Ridout told Australia Associated Press on Thursday.

By not allocating any points for people from non-English speaking backgrounds will worsen the disadvantage faced by applicants with trades rather than university training.

"It would also limit the pool of potential skilled migrants for Australia in what is a highly contested international market at a time when Australia's demand for skills is set to grow exponentially," Ridout added.

The points test would complement the new skilled occupation list which came into effect on July 1, 2010.

If the legislation for the new points test is supported in parliament, it is expected to come into effect in July next year.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:王寒露)

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