Draft Core Skills Occupations List (CSOL) for Consultation

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    The Migration Strategy released on 11 December 2023 provides a roadmap for the future reform of Australia’s migration system. The Strategy also establishes a formal role for Jobs and Skills Australia in defining Australia’s skill needs using evidence and advice from tripartite mechanisms.

    The Strategy notes that while the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs is the decision maker on the final CSOL, Jobs and Skills Australia is responsible for labour market analysis and stakeholder engagement which will inform the Government’s final decisions on the CSOL that will target the temporary skilled migration system to Australia’s workforce needs.

    Jobs and Skills Australia has developed a Migration Labour Market Indicator Model, that it will use alongside deep stakeholder engagement, to develop and then provide advice to the Government on the CSOL.

    This Model supports the Migration Strategy which specifies that the CSOL will be a single consolidated list, developed by Jobs and Skills Australia, which:

    • Starts with the Jobs and Skills Australia Skills Priority List, constructed through a comprehensive evidence-based process that takes account of a range of factors and includes extensive tripartite engagement and input from across Commonwealth and state and territory governments
    • Analyses whether migration is an appropriate path to address the identified shortages, considering how well migrants do in the labour market upon arrival, reliance on sponsored skilled visa holders relative to employment size and vacancy data, the likelihood of domestic supply for those occupations and the market salary for occupations
    • Follows proactive stakeholder engagement, including with business and unions, and a structured qualitative research component. This will involve semi-structured interviews with a range of labour market participants, targeting both those experiencing shortages and those that aren’t, to gain a broad range of views on the appropriateness of migration pathways for a range of occupations
    • Supplies a list of occupations that the Government considers are required to be on the list to fulfil Australia’s obligations under international trade agreements.

    The consultation process on the CSOL includes surveys, submissions, bilateral meetings and qualitative analysis (including focus groups and in-depth interviews). Jobs and Skills Australia is interested in obtaining feedback from businesses both with and without skill shortages, and from Australian and migrant workers and job seekers. We will also consult with state and territory governments, academics and researchers, unions and employee bodies, and organisations providing services to potential and recent migrants (such as skill assessing and licensing bodies).

    Draft CSOL Format

    The draft CSOL is released for consultation purposes only. It does not represent the final advice that Jobs and Skills Australia will provide to Government, nor is it a decision of Government. The draft list is categorised into three groups:

    • Skilled occupations the JSA Migration Model is confident should be on the CSOL—stakeholders are able to provide feedback on these occupations.
    • Skilled occupations the JSA Migration Model suggests should be targeted for stakeholder feedback—for these occupations we are particularly interested in labour market surveys and independent research, business recruitment experiences, and the views of Australian and migrant workers and jobseekers.
    • Skilled occupations the JSA Migration Model suggests should not be on the CSOL—stakeholders are able to provide feedback on these occupations.

    The draft CSOL is not readily comparable to the current March 2019 Skilled Migration Occupation Lists (SMOL) for temporary skill visa purposes. These lists are based on different methodologies and reflect different policy settings, also noting the draft CSOL:

    • Is benchmarked to ANZSCO 2022 (which includes new and changed occupations) and not ANZSCO 2013 (which preceded the targeted Skill Level and phased reviews of ANZSCO).
    • Is generated from the most up-to-date and/or 2023 datasets, while the current SMOL is generated from 2018 datasets and stakeholder consultations (i.e. pre-COVID pandemic).
    • Does not include occupations for which Australian citizenship is a pre-requisite for employment, engagement or appointment under the Australian Constitution; federal, state and territory laws and/or for national interest reasons etc.

    Note – the final CSOL may include additional occupations to implement Australia’s international trade obligations.

    The draft CSOL is based on labour market analysis for ANZSCO Skill Level 1 to 3 occupations and does not reflect other temporary skill migration measures in the Migration Strategy. For example, occupations where the median salary in the Australian labour market is above $135,000 (i.e. salary threshold for the Specialist Skills Stream of the Skills in Demand (SID) visa) and below $70,000 (i.e. salary threshold for the Core Skills Stream of the SID visa) may appear on the draft CSOL.

    Survey and submissions

    Jobs and Skills Australia welcomes feedback on the draft CSOL. The survey is open until Friday 10 May 2024, and submissions can be lodged until 5:00pm AEST on Friday 31 May 2024.

    Stakeholders can provide information through any of the following options.

    The link provides you with 3 options to make a submission:

    1. Complete the survey questions, or
    2. Complete the survey questions and upload a separate submission, or
    3. Upload a separate submission only.

    We will use the information collected to supplement the labour market data and intelligence available to Jobs and Skills Australia to inform its advice to Government on the Core Skills Occupations List.

    For any questions or further information please contact us at CoreSkillsList@jobsandskills.gov.au.

    Timeline

    Stage 1

    Release draft CSOL (based on the JSA Migration Model which includes analysis of relevant labour market data and indicators).

    Stage 2

    Survey and stakeholder submission period opens (includes separate surveys for businesses and workers/jobseekers).

    Stage 3

    Stakeholder consultation process opens (includes bilateral meetings, focus groups and in-depth interviews including with Australian and migrant workers and job seekers).

    Stage 4

    For the 2024 CSOL, the stakeholder survey closes on Friday 10 May 2024. Submissions will be accepted until 5:00PM AEST on Friday 31 May 2024. Submissions should have an evidence base and not refer to Jobs and Skills Australia or National Skills Commission research and analysis (which is already available as input to CSOL).

    Stage 5

    Jobs and Skills Australia will analyse survey results and submissions received, including data and evidence provided, to inform its advice to Government. Jobs and Skills Australia will also refresh the Jobs and Skills Australia Migration Model to reflect recently released datasets and preliminary 2024 SPL analysis.

    Stage 6

    The Jobs and Skills Australia Commissioner provides advice on the composition of the CSOL to the Government, including the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, the Minister for Skills and Training, the Minister for Home Affairs and the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs.

    Stage 7

    Jobs and Skills Australia will release on its website the labour market analysis and tripartite engagement feedback that informed its advice to Government on the composition of the CSOL.

    Stage 8

    The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs releases the final CSOL with legislative instruments on the Federal Register of Legislation. The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs is the decision maker on the CSOL and may release reasons for variations to the advice from Jobs and Skills Australia.

    FAQs

    This section will be updated as stakeholder feedback is received.

    The Migration Strategy notes the Government will replace the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa with a new Skills in Demand (SID) visa, which will include a Specialist Skills Pathway, a Core Skills Pathway and an Essential Skills Pathway.

    The CSOL is one of the criteria for the SID visa and will target the Core Skills Pathway to Australia’s workforce needs. The CSOL will operate in a similar manner to the Skilled Migration Occupation Lists for the TSS visa.

    Jobs and Skills Australia has developed a Migration Labour Market Indicator Model, that it will use alongside deep stakeholder engagement, to develop and then provide advice to the Government  on the CSOL. This model builds on the Skills Priority List, also taking into consideration how well migrants do in the labour market on arrival, reliance on sponsored skilled visa holders relative to employment size, vacancy data, domestic labour market supply and other relevant factors.

    It is important to note that no one factor in the Model is determinative.

    A methodology paper will be released on the Jobs and Skills Australia website.

    The draft CSOL—and the Jobs and Skills Australia Migration Labour Market Indicator Model—is benchmarked to the November 2022 release of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO 2022).

    ANZSCO 2022 includes a number of new and changed occupations which resulted from a targeted ANZSCO Skill Level review (results released in November 2019) and a phased review of ANZSCO (results released in November 2021 and November 2022).

    The recognition of an occupation in ANZSCO is not a guarantee that an occupation will be included on the CSOL. Rather, ANZSCO is a statistical classification framework (or taxonomy) that is used for the collection of survey and administrative data which is input to the Migration Labour Market Indicator Model.

    The Skills Priority List analysis is an input to the JSA Migration Labour Market Indicator Model, but is not determinative for the CSOL. For example:

    • Occupations are excluded where Australian citizenship is a prerequisite for employment, engagement or appointment under the Australian Constitution; federal, state or territory laws; or for national interest reasons.
    • Some occupations that are in shortage on the SPL do not have a strong evidence base to support inclusion on the draft CSOL. This may occur where migrants have poor longer-term employment outcomes and/or where there is significant scope to improve the outcomes for domestic graduates.
    • Some occupations that are not in shortage on the SPL do have strong overall evidence to support inclusion on the CSOL. This can occur where employment outcomes for both migrant and domestic students in the occupation are strong, highlighting that migration and domestic education and training systems are working in a complementary way, which is a key principle of the Migration Strategy.

    Submissions can be made on any skilled (i.e. ANZSCO Skill Level 1 to 3) occupation. However, we are particularly interested in submissions on those skilled occupations appearing in the “targeted for consultation” list.

    Submissions should be evidenced based (e.g. industry body surveys of members), benchmarked to ANZSCO 2022, and relate to the Australian labour market.

    Jobs and Skills Australia will develop Submission Guidelines to assist stakeholders.

    The Jobs and Skills Australia website (at Migration Strategy | Jobs and Skills Australia) will be updated with details on the tripartite engagement approach for the draft CSOL, which includes:

    • Online survey and submission process to capture labour market data and intelligence not covered in ABS, other survey and administrative datasets.
    • Bilateral and group meetings with tripartite partners including government agencies and regulatory authorities, industry bodies, businesses, unions and employee bodies; and with migration specific bodies.
    • Focus Groups of individuals to capture diverse views across industries, businesses (including those that employ skilled migrants and those that do not), union members and workers.
    • In-depth interviews to obtain qualitative feedback, including views and experiences of Australian and migrant workers and job seekers.

    For information on the consultation process please email CoreSkillsList@jobsandskills.gov.au.

    The Migration Strategy committed to evaluate regional migration settings and explore a reformed points-test. Those reforms will consider further changes to the occupation lists that underpin regional and points-tested skill visas.

    The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs is the decision maker on the application of occupation lists for different skill-related visa programs.

    The scope of the draft CSOL is consistent with the findings of the Review of the Migration System which informed the Migration Strategy, and which meets the objective of ensuring that Australia’s skilled visa framework complements domestic employment and training initiatives to meet Australia’s current, future and emerging workforce needs.

    The Department of Home Affairs’ website includes information on the Visa Options (see Work Tab) available to Australian businesses with vacancies which cannot be filled from the Australian labour market.

    Jobs and Skills Australia will develop a stakeholder weighting method for stakeholder feedback which—similar to the approach for the Skills Priority List (SPL)—will take into consideration:

    • Submission strength—this is a measure of the evidence base in a submission, survey feedback, consultations etc.
    • Coverage—is the feedback specific to a particular state or region. This will be weighted to get an accurate assessment of the national labour market (which is consistent with the purpose of the CSOL).
    • ANZSCO—for stakeholder feedback benchmarked to previous editions of ANZSCO will be mapped to ANZSCO 2022. Jobs and Skills Australia will also consult the Australian Bureau of Statistics on the most appropriate ANZSCO classification for submissions or feedback received on occupation titles not recognised in ANZSCO 2022 (e.g. new and emerging occupations).

    The CSOL methodology paper will provide detail on the weighting process and how other feedback will be reflected in Jobs and Skills Australia’s advice to Government on the CSOL.

    The draft CSOL is benchmarked to ANZSCO 2022 and as such does not include occupations that are new or which have emerged in the Australian labour market since the November 2022 release of ANZSCO. It also excludes the Māori specific occupations in ANZSCO 2022 that relate to the New Zealand labour market.

    • There is limited labour market data and research for many of the new occupations recognised in ANZSCO in the November 2021 and November 2022 updates. Jobs and Skills Australia would welcome labour market evidence on these occupations (e.g. employer surveys which meet good practice guidelines).
    • Jobs and Skills Australia will consult the Australian Bureau of Statistics on the most appropriate classification for submissions or feedback received as part of CSOL consultation, which refer to occupation titles not recognised in ANZSCO 2022.

    The ABS is undertaking a comprehensive review of ANZSCO to reflect the contemporary labour market (see ANZSCO Review). The updated ANZSCO will be released by December 2024, in time for use by Census 2026.

    The Migration Strategy notes that the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs retains the decision making power on the final CSOL and could provide any variations to Jobs and Skills Australia’s advice.

    The draft CSOL is based on labour market analysis for ANZSCO Skill Level 1 to 3 occupations and does not reflect other temporary skill migration measures in the Migration Strategy. For example, occupations where the median salary in the Australian labour market is above $135,000 (i.e. salary threshold for the Specialist Skills Stream of the Skills in Demand (SID) visa) and below $70,000 (i.e. salary threshold for the Core Skills Stream of the SID visa) may appear on the draft CSOL.

    Australia’s “international trade obligations” on the temporary entry of foreign nationals are established by the World Trade Organization (WTO) General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and Australia’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).

    These obligations include commitments to facilitate temporary entry and stay for certain intra‑corporate transferees, contractual service suppliers, business visitors, installers and servicers, and independent executives.

    The final CSOL may include certain additional occupations to implement these obligations.

    The draft CSOL relates to the Australian labour market and is benchmarked to ANZSCO 2022 where the ANZSCO Skill Levels refer to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

    International businesses operating in Australia are able to participate in the survey and submission process for the draft CSOL. Jobs and Skills Australia will work with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Department of Home Affairs to ensure the CSOL is implemented in a manner consistent with Australia’s international obligations.