She said issues of implementation, particularly around the skilled trades need to be revisited.
“In particular, the decision to give fewer points to the skilled trades compared with university qualifications does not adequately reflect the critical need for trade skills in our economy. For example, it would give applicants with undergraduate degrees five more points than highly skilled electricians or diesel mechanics whose skills are in particularly high demand in the mining, manufacturing and construction industries,” Ms Ridout said. “It would also limit the pool of potential skilled migrants for Australia in what is a highly contested international market at a time when Australia’s demand for skills is set to grow exponentially.”
Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Mitch Hooke echoed Ms Ridout’s sentiments saying that a robust skilled migrant system would be needed as unemployment in Australia declined.
“Any attempt to artificially cap or limit skilled migration, rather than allow economic forces to determine the intake, would be a retrograde step,” he said.
The list of valued vocations was slashed from 400 to 181 in the revised list. Private dance teachers, piano tuners and naturopaths were among those cut.
If the legislation for the new points test is supported in parliament it is expected to come into effect in July next year.