Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) has, in the February 2023 Labour Market Update, identified the top 20 occupations in demand in Australia. With Registered Nurses being the most in demand occupation, other occupations included those from the IT, Engineering, Health and Welfare Support Workers, and Trade professions:
- Registered Nurses
- Software and Applications Programmers
- Aged and Disabled Carers
- Child Carers
- Construction Managers
- Motor Mechanics
- Retail Managers
- Generalist Medical Practitioners
- Metal Fitters and Machinists
- ICT Business and Systems Analysts
- Civil Engineering Professionals
- Early Childhood (Pre-primary school) Teachers
- Contract, Program and Project Administrators
- Advertising and Marketing Professionals
- Mining Engineers
- Database and Systems Administrators, and ICT Security Specialists
According to the JSA report, skills shortages increased significantly compared to those assessed in 2021. It is also not surprising that this list consists of skills shortages in healthcare, ICT and engineering industry. It reflects the Ministerial Direction 100, released by the Department of Home Affairs in October 2022, which prioritises the processing of skilled applications where the nominated occupation is in healthcare or teaching. This, in part, demonstrates the Australian government’s continual commitment to fill skills shortages in critical industries by looking to the “offshore” labour market to fill those gaps.
Ministerial Direction 100 determines the government’s processing priorities and, at present, skilled visa applications are processed in the following order of priority:
- Visa applications in relation to a healthcare or teaching occupation.
- For employer sponsored visas, visa applications where the applicant is nominated by an Approved sponsor with Accredited Status.
- Visa applications in relation to an occupation to be carried out in a designated regional area.
- For permanent and provisional visa subclasses, visa applications that count towards the migration program, excluding the Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)) visa.
- All other visa applications.
Within each category above, for provisional and permanent skilled visa applications, priority is given to visa applications where the primary applicant is located outside Australia at the time the visa application is made.
With the shift in focus away from popular permanent visa programmes, like the Global Talent Independent visa, the government is now giving priority to the General Skilled Migration (e.g. Subclass 491/189/190), and Employer Nominated (e.g. Subclass 482/494/186) visa programmes, in response to the skills shortage crisis. Where it once took up to 12 months to process visa applications in these categories, it is now taking a few weeks (especially for applications nominated by accredited sponsors).
If anyone is looking for advise on how to migration temporarily, or permanently, to Australia – either through general skilled or employer sponsored migration – please get in contact with us for further advice.