Australia has added seven engineering occupations to its Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) for skilled migration to Australia.
After including software and mechanical engineers to its PMSOL initially, Australia has updated the list by adding civil, transport, geotechnical, petroleum and mining engineers for priority skilled migration to Australia.
Engineers belonging to these disciplines will be able to have their applications be fast-tracked by priority processing for Australian immigration.
Australia first announced the PMSOL in September 2020 on advice of the National Skills Commission, to allow priority processing for skilled migration applicants belonging to selected occupations which were deemed critical for Australia’s economic recovery.
As Australia continues to restrict international travel amidst border closures, the economy keeps on suffering from the damaging impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the Australian government has started working on rejuvenating the economy, with adding new occupations to the PMSOL being one such measure.
Adding more engineering occupations to the PMSOL was welcomed by Engineers Australia CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans, who said that although this is a positive step forward, it is still the first of many.
According to Dr Evans, the Australian government needs to take further action to resolve long-term skills supply challenges, given that less than half of all migrant engineers in Australia are currently working in engineering occupations.
She also pointed out that overseas-born engineers face a higher rate of unemployment in Australia (7.6 per cent) than their local-born counterparts (3.7 per cent).
Moreover, she said that only 40.9 per cent foreign engineers end up working in engineering occupations in Australia, which has led to calls for the current migration program to be more specific in order to attract the right talent.
Earlier this year, Engineers Australia launched a petition to the Skilled Migration Inquiry to draw attention to the skills shortage being faced by Australia’s engineering industry.
Australia’s engineering industry, which relies heavily on skilled migrants, has been facing a lack of qualified engineers due to the current visa process locking skilled migrants out of many opportunities.
However, Dr Evans harboured hopes of hearing more news on Australia reopening its borders for engineers to resume skilled migration to Australia, following the government’s announcement of adding more occupations to the PMSOL.