Australia plans to remove over 50 Occupations from its Skilled Occupation List (SOL)

The DIBP (Department of immigration and Border Protection) of Australia is likely to remove over 50 occupations from its latest Skilled Occupation List (SOL) for 2016-17. The request regarding this has come from the Heath Department of Australia. The healthcare associated occupations are the ones likely to be removed from SOL. It is suggested that the shortage in healthcare occupations can be met by employing locally trained doctors.

What is Skilled Occupation List (SOL)?

The SOL is a list of Occupations that are highly in demand in country and for which; skilled migration is required to meet the skill needs in Australia. The DIBP releases the Skilled Occupation List every year to invite the applications for the skilled occupations.

The SOL of 2016-17 contains total of 52 occupation categories including, Engineers, Accountants, Healthcare Professionals, Barristers, etc.

Which Occupations are being removed?

The Health Department of Australia has requested to scrap 41 jobs from the Skilled Occupation List including Surgeons, General Practitioners, resident medical officers, and Anesthetists, etc.

The health department has said that the immigration of overseas trained doctors in the country is not being coordinated properly. Immigration of overseas health care professionals is not addressing the demands of the healthcare needs in the regions where it is needed the most.

As per a report from DIBP, till March end, there were 1562 resident medical officers and 2155 GPs (General Practitioners) in Australia on a visa. The questions were raised by Australian Medical Association about most the overseas trained doctors are settling in the cities. Hence, immigration is clearly not solving the purpose. The members of Australian medical community have asked the federal government to discontinue allocating visas to foreign trained doctors.

Locally Trained Medical Graduates to take over

The Health Department has also shown concern that if these occupations are not removed from SOL and immigration overseas trained health professionals continues, the locally trained doctors will find it difficult to get the jobs in the country.

To meet the skill shortage of health professionals in Australia, locally trained doctors or medical graduates will be employed to fill the vacancies, particularly in the regional areas.

The SOL gets reviewed and renewed every year

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) usually takes advice from the Education and training Department in Australia in composition of Skilled Occupation List every year.

After the review every year, the DIBP take decision as to which occupations to be added in the list and which are to be ‘flagged’ for removal in future. Usually, an occupation is flagged when it is found that a particular occupation has excess supply in the labour market.

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