As part of Australia's ongoing efforts to streamline its migration strategy, the government is in the process of replacing the Temporary Skills Shortage visa with a new visa system featuring three distinct pathways: Specialist Skills, Core Skills, and Essential Skills. Under this new framework, the Building and Construction Industry will exclusively utilise the Core Skills Pathway for bringing in migrant workers. 

To ensure the effectiveness of this transition, the government is currently seeking input on which occupations should be included in the Core Skills Pathway occupation list. While the initial plan was to incorporate occupations facing shortages based on advice from the Job Skills Australia (JSA), the process has now evolved into a broader consultation with stakeholders. 

However, the consultation process has raised some confusion and concerns among industry stakeholders, primarily due to the complexity of the proposed lists. The lists include a 'confident on' list, a 'confident off' list, and a consultation list. This categorisation has resulted in a disjointed approach, with certain trades being classified differently across lists. 

For instance, occupations like Carpenter and Joiner are listed as 'confident on,' while Carpenter or Joiner are categorised for consultation. Similarly, while Drainer and Gasfitter are deemed 'confident on,' General Plumber is listed for consultation. Moreover, several essential trades such as Bricklayer, Stonemason, Plasterer, Roof Tiler, Floor and Wall Tiler, and Painter are included in the consultation list. 

Adding to the complexity, the government has requested evidence-based submissions, but without reliance on existing government data, such as JSA data. This presents a challenge for industry stakeholders aiming to support their case with concrete evidence. 

In response to these challenges, industry stakeholders are mobilising efforts to provide evidence through quotes and case studies.  

Two key areas of focus include: 

Difficulty in Sourcing Workers to Meet Demand: Industry stakeholders are emphasizing the challenges faced in sourcing workers domestically to keep up with demand. This includes difficulties in attracting apprentices, retaining qualified workers, competition from other sectors like mining, and skills mismatches. Real-life examples and quotes from members experiencing these challenges are being compiled to highlight the urgency of the situation. 

Shortages of Workers in Specific Occupations: Stakeholders are also highlighting shortages in specific occupations listed for consultation. By providing real-life examples and case studies, industry members aim to demonstrate the critical need for these occupations to be included in the Core Skills Occupations List. Without adequate representation, businesses will face significant hurdles in accessing skilled workers through temporary skilled visas. 

Contact Us: 

Are you a part of the building and construction industry, experiencing challenges in sourcing skilled workers?  

Do you have firsthand experience or case studies illustrating the shortages in specific occupations listed for consultation?  

We invite you to share your insights and contribute to the evidence base supporting the inclusion of critical occupations in the Core Skills Occupations List. Your input can shape the future of Australia's migration strategy and ensure the continued growth and prosperity of the industry.  

Contact us on 03 9411 4555 or [email protected] to share your case studies and make your voice heard in this important consultation process.