Australian Skilled Occupations List (SOL) for 2014-15 announced!

Skilled Occupations List for 2014-15 Announced

webster By Mark Webster
Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The Department of Immigration has announced the new Skilled Occupations List (SOL) which will apply from 1 July 2014.

Occupations Removed from the SOL

There have been no occupations removed from the Skilled Occupations List.

This will be a great relief to Accountants who were slated for removal from the Skilled Occupations List in February 2014.

Occupations Added to the SOL

The following occupations have been added to the Skilled Occupations List:

“Tilers” have also been added to the list – it is not entirely clear which occupations are affected, but the new occupations could be as follows:

Rationale for Changes

The Assistant Minister for Immigration, Michaelia Cash, has indicated in her joint press release that Chefs have been added due to the occupation being in short supply. Strong growth is also projected in the cafe and restaurant sector.

The Assistant Minister also indicated that there is a “known deficit” of skilled workers in the hospitality and construction industries in Regional Areas.

Effect of Changes

The SOL is used in the following contexts:

As a result, Chefs, Bricklayers and Tilers will now be able to apply for the above visa types.

Change of Advisor on Skilled Occupations List in Future?

The Skilled Occupations list has traditionally been set every year based on advice from AWPA (Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency).

Given that AWPA has now been axed, advice on the SOL will presumably be given by a different body in future, and it will be interesting to watch developments in the next year.


Assistant Minister Press Announcement – In-demand trades added to the Skilled Occupation List The Australian – AWPA Axing Short Sighted,


This article has been taken from, with permission from Mr Mark Webster. Please note that I have no financial interest or interest or relation of any type with Acacia Immigration Australia or any conflict of interest in this matter. I picked this article because it is comprehensive and covers the relevant matter well. People should check with Dept of Immigration & Border Control or Australian Embassy/High Commission or professional & reputed migration advisor/agent in their area before making any decision in regards to their immigration/studies matters.


Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/12th June, 2014

The strategy to encourage more overseas students to study in Australia

I was the chief of the Students’ committee, formed by Indian Consulate in 2009. We studied the students issues, held consultation sessions and came out with a strategy document. The strategy proposed then is still relevant and can  be followed with some modification.

I have continued to have a keen interest this area due to various reasons, but making money myself has not been one of the motives.

Recently, Federal Govt has announced some changes to the Visa rules to encourage overseas students to come to Australia, thus boosting an $18 billion industry, but these changes will help only University sector. The key points in these changes include faster visa processing, less strict requirement in regards to financial support and 2-4 years work visa to work in any area, after completing a bachelor or higher level course from a University.

Premier of NSW, Mr Barry O’Farrell and Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu have asked for some changes in the rules and regulations to revive the vocational education and training sector which is almost moribund now. The events of 2009 and the bad press it generated has compromised this sector massively. NSW and Victoria earn $6.5 billions and $5.8 billions from international education respectively, but this is in jeopardy due to 64 % and 90.1% decline of students in the vocational education and training sector from China and India respectively in recent years.

The whole international education sector needs a boost but we should not allow the weaknesses of previous years to happen again.

There is a case for a support to Vocational education & training sector, provided the courses considered for this support are carefully defined and approved. It should be a “course” which should be the criterion, not the place from where it has been achieved. The quality of the training and a tight control on the delivery of such training to ensure similar levels and standards when compared with a University courses will be the key here.

There is no harm if overseas students have the qualifications which Australia needs, but we should make it clear that none has an automatic right to have permanent residence visa, just because they have a qualification from Australia.

We should encourage only genuine students and never permit visa rorting, which was common until recently. Compliance with Visa rules and conditions must be enforced ruthlessly. Dependent spouses, who are not students, should not be given permission for unlimited work, to prevent sham marriages.

I am outlining the strategy with some modification from our original document.

The key points are;

1. Safety and Security 

Brief Details:

Several cases of robbery & bashings of  Students which gave a very bad publicity. 

Proposed Action Plan 

  • Market Australia as a safe place when compared with other countries, using the experience of long term residents/citizens.
  • Educate students to REPORT the incidents to NSW Police. Reporting does not affect their VISA.
  • Councils to arrange a better lighting around Railway stations, car parks and  alleys etc in the key areas with higher students population
  • Local councils to install CCTV for surveillance of crimes in the key areas with higher students population
  • Liaison with NSW Police re under-cover policing, more visibility and patrolling in hot-spots
  • Education of the students  to be street-smart and be aware of their  surroundings
  • Employers have a duty of care and must arrange them to be dropped off at their apartments if it is beyond 10 PM
  • Explore and educate the issues involving “Work-cover” matters in case of injury/assaults 
  • Some transport concession, which is already available all over Australia except NSW and Vic. It would encourage more use of public transport which might also reduce the assaults/robberies of students.

2. Accommodation for Students: 

Brief Details:

No assistance on arrival. Many students forced to share crowded apartments and Poor treatment by rental agents 

Proposed Action Plan 

  • Education providers should take responsibility for a minimum 6 months accommodation which can be organised at the market rate. Fees can include the rent for such accommodation.  
  • Lobby with Immigration regarding  this requirement [Visa must not be issued unless accommodation confirmed]

 3. Quality of training:  

Brief details:  

Many students are exposed to poor quality of training by educational service providers & shady, shonky or bogus institutions. 

Proposed action plan: 

  • Accreditation authorities/bodies to audit the quality of training randomly and frequently
  • Effective and proper actions on proved cases
  • Anonymous surveys from the current students re the quality issues
  • Effective and prompt action by DEEWR/ACPET re alternate placement in schools/institutions or refund of the tuition fees if the educational provider goes out of business  

4. Exploitation of  students:  

Brief details:  

Students are exposed to exploitation of all kinds & bullying in part time employment or by educational service providers. They get below-award wages in many cases.  

Proposed action plan:  

  • To advise & educate students about their RIGHTS in Australia
  • To educate them re the appropriate agencies to deal with such matters
  • To encourage/facilitate genuine students’ associations which are largely run by students themselves, not business people with hidden agenda and purposes. 
  • To lobby for establishing an  overseas Students’ Ombudsman

 5. Overseas Students’ Ombudsman:

  • This body will help students when they have issues with education providers or with employers.

6. Health Cover, other appropriate insurance matters and  emergency insurance:  

Brief details:  

Lack of proper/current Insurances and coverage by some students, particularly when they are on bridging Visa.

Proposed Action plan:  

  • Pre arrival Information package in the country of origin
  • Proper medical insurance must be a condition for the Visa and such cover must be current at all times during the stay in Australia 

7.  Social issues: 

Brief details: poor communication, insufficient participation in local community events & meetings and poor public behaviour in many cases 

Proposed action plan 

  • Communication/education through community Radio, TV, newspapers and website.
  • Encourage participation of students in community events
  • Know what is expected in every situation.
  • Encouraging and promoting “when in Rome, do as Romans do” policy for our students
  • rules/regulations, Australian ways, expected behaviour and rights/obligations [There is now sufficient information in these matters in various websites] 

8. International education as a separate ministry:

  • There is sufficient justification for a separate ministry due to the fact that it is a big earner for the economy and needs special attention.

9. International students’ advisory body:

  • comprising of some international students, community representatives, education providers and Govt representatives. This will help deal with issues in regards to bad press and advise Govt with policy recommendations.

10. Marketing:

  • targeted marketing in the key markets ie China and India
  • addressing the concerns re safety and quality of education
  • countering the bad publicity about so called “racism”, using community leaders of high repute in the key markets.

Boost in this sector will be great, but we do not need the repetition of past mistakes which literally killed the whole sector. 

Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/11th Oct, 2011

Amitabh Bachchan Ji: we need your assistance!

Amitach Bachchan photographed by Studio Harcou...

Image via Wikipedia

We have a great admiration for Mr Amitabh Bachchan AKA Amit Ji. I have even more admiration for him because “CHHORA GANGA KINARE WALA” is from Allahabad and I am from Banda which is the adjascent district in Uttar Pradesh. He has some relatives in Banda too. I was in class 6 or 7 when he visited Banda. I was a kid then but I remember this very well. He visited a school called “Arya Kanya Intermediate College, Banda” whose principal was Mrs Indira Rajan who I believe is his relative. The function was huge and I remember almost whole Banda district [few lakhs] came out to see him. That is how popular he is!

Amit Ji is popular all over the world. He is an icon and we all are genuinely proud of him. We were very happy to know that he was going to be awarded a “Doctorate” by a Queensland University but unfortunately he could not accept it. We understood his reasons. We even agreed with him then. We know he is a great man and his heart beats for our great motherland, India and its people, irrespective of where ever they live.

Indian international students have chosen Australia for their training/education and we have around 97000 students in Australia. They are spread around the country but most are in Melbourne and Sydney. They have several issues and some of them have been assaulted/robbed. Things have quietened down to a large extent but their problems have not disappeared completely. Some of our Indian students have to go through  very stressful times which could be due to so many issues. It is often not very easy to find jobs here either. Worst of  all this is the fact that some of our own Indians exploit them by under-paying and sometimes, not paying them at all. Some of these rascals then try to project themselves as the “leaders” or “NETA JI”. On top of all this, it is not unusual to find out that the school they were in has gone out of business, leaving them in lurch. They thus end up in a hopeless situation. It is these times when they need all the help they can get.

I should know their predicament as I am a medical practitioner and have been involved in providing such support. Some of the students of a Flying School in Australia are having a horrendous time. I have been with them, sometimes right up to midnight, talking, counselling and keeping them in a positive frame of mind. Their stories are indeed heart-moving. We are working through the system here which, akin to the system in India, some times does not work fast enough.

To be able to help our students in all sorts of situations and to provide the emergency assistance, we need “DHAN” or money. While we can collect some money from ourselves which is what we did when we were requested by the Indian Consulate to help arrange accommodation for the relatives of Mr Rajesh Kumar[Petrol Bomb victim in Sydney], we need lot more money to do these things effectively. That is where we need a generous help from every one in Australia and India. Some of this money, thus generated, could be used for something like “India House” which would not only function as the centre for the social/cultural activities for Indian Australians but also as the place for emergency accommodation for those who are in desperate need for such help.

It does not have to be money only. It could be the help in the form of their presence in a function, encouraging Indians to open their heart and purse. While “purse” is the right approach for our Indian Govt of PM Mr Manmohan Singh which would allow the Indian Consulate to have some money to help the students, the “Heart” would be sufficient for our Icon, Amit Ji.

It would be wonderful and helpful if Amit Ji were to agree to visit Australia, not only to take the “Doctorate” but more importantly, to participate in the Indian community functions in Melbourne and Sydney to help generate money for “Indian students’ Emergency Assistance and Benevolent Fund”.

Knowing Amit Ji for what he stands for, I am quite hopeful that he would respond quickly and positively. 

 Amit Ji, we need your help, counselling and encouragement!

We hope you would not disappoint us!

Dr Yadu Singh

Sydney, Australia