Aus drop hairdressing, cookery from preferred job skills list

The new rules, announced today by Immigration minister Chris Evans, has dashed the permanent residency hopes of hundreds of Indian students currently pursuing these courses here.

In the new preferred job skills list, the government has reduced the number of occupations and professions listed in its skilled migration program from 400 to 181.
Announcing the new policy, Evans said it will ensure Australia brings in workers it needs rather than having a policy dominated by people doing particular courses.

The move will put an end to people coming Down Under for short courses in some vocational subjects and then gaining permanent residency based on that training.
"What this will do is drive our independent skill migration programme so that we're bringing in the people we need, not have people dominating our migration programme because of the course they study in Australia," he said.

However, the move has evoked mixed response from Australians with industry experts saying it will have widespread ramifications and the USD 17 billion Australian education market will suffer as a result and few favouring the changes.
Federation of Indian Association of Victoria president Vasan Srinivasan said "it was cruel decision by the government. This will destroy the international sector and Victoria's number one export."

Spokesperson for Federation of Indian student Association (FISA) Gautam Gupta however, refrained from making any comments saying it was futile to make noise about anything though he admitted that the changes will affect the students in a big way.
However, Sydney-based Indian community leader and renowned cardiologist Yadu Singh said he supported the overall changes to the system.

"Indians from India can come to Australia but they have to fit in with the requirements which Australia has," he said and added "We can't just be guiding our immigration programs based on some sort of specific trades like cookery or hairdressing.
"I came as a doctor so we want people from all over the world - Australia being the multi-cultural country - but we want the right people for the right trade, the right qualification" he added.

India-based education agent Ravi Lochan said "the new list favours the University bound students and hence in a way it is a positive step."
According to an ABC report, already, 20,000 prospective migrants have had their applications for permanent residency rejected and the changes are expected to affect between 30,000 to 40,000 international students presently studying in Australia.
The report qouted chief executive officer of Australian Council for Private Education and Training Andrew Smith as saying that such students should be allowed to stay under the previous permanent residency arrangements.

"We've got students and your businesses in Australia who've invested very heavily on the basis of the Government's previous policies," he said.
"And we believe that those students in particular should be able to continue their studies and seek the outcome that was promised to them under previous policies."
Evans said it is a fundamental economic reform based on  scientific analysis.
He said in the past the education system, rather than skills needs, drove migration outcomes.

"This is about making sure the people who come in on the migration programme have the skills we need, have the English levels we need and can get a job in that skilled area," he said.

He said the list, developed by the independent body Skills Australia and containing 181 highly valued occupations, would ensure Australia's skilled migration programme is demand-driven rather than supply-driven.

"We intend to fundamentally change the way we target skilled migrants to restore integrity to the skilled migration program," Evans said.
The new SOL is a critical reform in the Government's overhaul of the skilled migration programme and closes the door on those seeking to manipulate the migration system.
Only people with relevant qualifications in occupations listed on the SOL will be eligible for independent general skilled migration.

"Australia's migration programme cannot be determined by the courses studied by international students," Evans said.

"This SOL represents a new direction which aims to ensure we choose migrants who have the skills to meet our nation's economic needs.

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