The 2022 Skills Priority List released by the National Skills Commission, reveals shortages in 286 occupations, compared to 153 in 2021. In August 2022, there was a 42 percent increase in job advertisements from August 2021. The occupations of primarily health care professionals and teachers are in high demand, same as tech, engineering, and trade occupations.
Despite global inflation and impending economic headwinds, working visa in Australia still appeals to many people and is a primary factor in migration. The Working Holiday subclass 417 visa as well as Work and Holiday Visa subclass 462 visa are regularly the work visa option chosen by young prospective migrants. The TSS 482 visa has no age limit, so it is a highly sought skilled working visa in Australia by prospective migrants of all ages. Another popular option is the Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA) programs who offer age, salary and English concessions making the migration process accessible to a greater talent pool. It is currently one of the most popular skilled work visa programs in Australia.
Finding employment in Australia
In the event that you do choose to seek gainful employment, an important step would be securing and finding this employment through some form of contact. This can be done through travelling to Australia using one of the aforementioned work and holiday visas, or a tourist visa, with a view to meet an employer, attend an interview and seek to apply for the most appropriate skilled work visa. Or, as is more likely, through one of the actual channels and avenues for finding employment.
One of the first steps to securing employment is in finding an advertised position in your chosen field. This is done through the standard steps that one normally goes through in finding gainful employment, such as through professional networking and job search websites.
The most noteworthy of these is through LinkedIn. Employers will regularly seek to advertise for their openings through this, or at-least offer announcements about openings in a particular field that they are hoping to fill with LinkedIn applicants or referrals of their connections. This online professional network also has the benefit of allowing you to gain further insight into an employer that you are thinking looks prospective and promising.
However, there are other websites that can often be utilized in finding the appropriate employment opportunities. One of the other most noteworthy places that employers regularly advertise on is Seek. Another website that is commonly used in the finding of employment opportunities being offered is the website Indeed. Both of these websites offer the opportunity for you to upload a resume and send in a cover letter to vacant positions that are being placed there with the purpose of finding suitable employees.
Labour Market Testing for the Sponsorship Process
For some time now, these websites have been used by employers to ensure that they have exhausted all options in finding employees within Australia. This is important as it falls into one of the important keystone aspects of being a sponsor and nominating a foreign worker for a position within the business. The job advertising or labour market testing (LMT) ensures that the standard business sponsor has gone through all of the correct steps to ensure that they are eligible to host an overseas worker and it is also a crucial step in the process of acquiring a visa to work in Australia for applicants.
In order for a business to be able to nominate candidates for a position within the business, they must be an approved business sponsor. The business must apply to the Department of Home Affairs to become an approved business sponsor and this is the most common type of sponsor licence for Australian businesses who seek to sponsor overseas skilled workers for temporary skilled work visas.
As part of the sponsorship process, the business must demonstrate that they have a need for workers from outside of Australia. This is done through proving that the current Australian applicant pool is incapable of meeting the demand of the business, and that they have made all reasonable attempts possible in order to be able to hire locally. This is to ensure that the sponsor has not merely created a position for the applicant, and that there is a legitimate reason to hire outside of Australia. Thereby ensuring that Australian citizens have not suffered any detrimental loss of potential employment opportunities and also to prove the legitimacy of the employment position being offered.
The process of determining this legitimacy is called labour market testing or LMT. Labour Market Testing is the job advertisement that has been done for a period of four weeks, showcasing the attempts made by a company to ensure that they made a genuine effort to employ locally. There must be a minimum of three advertisements posted by the sponsors. The advertisement must outline key aspects such as the nature of work, expected salary, required skills and experience, job title, location of employment.
The advertisements themselves must be posted on a legitimate advertising platform. This includes websites such as the aforementioned Seek, Indeed and LinkedIn. But also includes Workforce Australia, which is mandatory, radio with a national reach, traditional print media (which includes magazines and Newspaper advertising), or even the businesses own website.
The advertisement itself must have run for at-least four weeks, during which time the sponsor must have been vetting and accepting applications. If no legitimate applicants can be found, or the applicants that did apply were unsuitable for filling in the position, the sponsor will be able to proceed with nominating the foreign applicant.
However, if the sponsor has retrenched or made redundant any Australian Citizen or permanent resident from the nominated occupation within the 4 months before lodging for the nomination then the advertisement must have been running since the date of the redundancy or the retrenchment of the employee. Without meeting these conditions, a business will not be able nominate individuals on two key work visas subclasses. These visa subclasses being the subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage Visa, or the subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa.
Subclass 482 TSS Temporary Skill Shortage Visa
In applying for a subclass 482, the applicant will first need to consult the current skilled occupational list. This list will determine whether the occupation that the applicant is applying for is on a long term or short-term list, which will determine how long an applicant will be allowed to remain in Australia within that chosen profession.
Additionally, it also precludes which occupations are more in demand and which professions are said to be of a higher skill ceiling; requiring more skilled individuals to be able to fill in particular roles within a business. In terms of skill requirements for this subclass, there remains a key aspect of applying for this subclass; you must have at-least 2 years of recent work experience in the last five years in the occupation. Some roles may not require a formal qualification as this can be substituted with work experience, however some of the occupations are going to require specific education to fulfill the skill requirement for the role.
One noteworthy example is in the culinary field. Hypothetically, an applicant is applying to be a Chef at a high-end restaurant, as per ANZSCO, they are going to need to produce a qualification equivalent to an Australian diploma or substitute this with minimum 3 years full-time work experience to prove that they can perform in this role.
The skill requirement will naturally be dependent on the nominated occupation and position that an applicant will be seeking to apply for, as each of the nominated occupations have different education and/or work experience requirements.
Finally, certain occupations are required to have a skills assessment under the TSS 482 visa program if the overseas worker is a citizen of a certain country or applies under certain nominated occupations such as program or project administrator.
Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa
The Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa has a great degree of similarity with the subclass 482 process but is also considerably different in function and certain key requirements to successfully fulfilling the Visa. The first step is ensuring that the occupation you are seeking to apply for is on the Regional Occupation List. If an occupation is not currently listed as being on this skilled list, the applicant will not be able to viably apply for the visa subclass in the first place.
The second key requirement of this subclass that separates it from the 482 subclass is in the requirement of location. Unlike the subclass 482 which can have a broad area and location, the subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa is restricted in that it is only viable for occupations within rural or regional areas. The nominated position must be assessed by a regional certifying body also known as the RCB.
Rural areas are specified areas across states of Australia that are outlined within specific legislative instruments so ensuring that the area of employment is marked as rural is the important first step. Regional certifying bodies must receive an application from the sponsor and each state and regional area has different criteria.
For example, in the state of Queensland there are the following regional certifying bodies:
- Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland
- Remote Area Planning and Development Board
- Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited
- Mount Isa Chamber of Commerce
- Cairns Chamber of Commerce
- Maranoa Regional Council
Another difference between these two subclasses is in another key area, and that is to do with full time work experience. If someone is applying for the 482 subclass an applicant will be required to have two years of mandatory recent full time work experience in addition to other requirements to be eligible for applying for this subclass successfully. A 494-subclass applicant, on the other hand, requires three years of experience in their field to be eligible to be a successful applicant for this subclass of Visa instead of just two years.
For subclass 494 skilled employer sponsored regional (provisional) visa, the skills assessments are mandatory unless some exceptions apply (such as you are nominated as an academic) and the nominated occupation will determine which of the relevant skills testing authorities will be needed to be utilized for acquiring the skills assessment necessary.
Visa Lounge is a member of the Chamber of Commerceand Industry Queensland and Redcliffe Chamber of Commerce Our team of experience migration specialists can assist with standard business sponsorships, labur market testing and employer sponsored visas from start to finish, contact us today!