Labour on the agenda as migration reform looms

ATA plans to discuss proposed government changes to Australia's migration scheme to help industries with labour shortages

By Michael House | February 9, 2010

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says it will discuss changes to the immigration process in which only immigrants with skills in the most critically labour short industries will be allowed in Australia.

Minister for Immigration Chris Evans yesterday outlined plans to redefine the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) in an attempt to cap migration and ensure only the best and brightest immigrant who are in high demand enter the country.

The recently announced scheme will scrap the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) immediately, which is described as outdated by Evans.

As the need for transport workers grows, the ATA says it will "consider" the announcement.

"The ATA’s focus in relation to the skills shortage is on promoting improved safety, better training, and the great careers that are now available in the logistics industry," ATA spokesman Bill McKinley says.

He says the changes will be on the agenda when the ATA’s Skills and Workforce Committee meets next week.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has welcomed the Evans' announcement and says more jobs will now become available for Australian workers.

"It recognises that Australia needs to more effectively integrate migration policy with national workforce and skills planning," ACTU President Sharan Burrow says.

"Reforms such as the removal of the MODL and its replacement with the SOL, along with the proposed review of the points test, will better target future skills needs."

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