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What about the occupations experiencing skills shortages?

What about the occupations experiencing skills shortages?

Migration Alliance was recently contacted by a registered migration agent who has a pertinent question for the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU).

This is most likely a question that many other registered migration agents would like answered, too.

The CFMEU announced on Monday (August 19) that it was launching an election campaign, which would see it gunning for a number of marginal seats across the country.

The campaign is also targeting 457 immigration visas. The CFMEU maintains that the 457 visa system is being "heavily rorted," and is opposed to government plans that would see it being expanded.

The member of Migration Alliance who contacted us had this question to ask: What about those occupations that are suffering from skills shortages?

He said that, having worked as a migration agent for a decade, there are some jobs out there that evidently just don't appeal to Australian permanent residents or citizens.

The migration agent mentioned agricultural industry planting, harvesting and processing vegetables and fruit for a start.

The is also a major shortage of Chinese, Indian, Thai, Japanese and many other chefs and cooks who have been school in Australia by government or private Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).

"There may well be Aussies seeking work in the building and construction industries, but there certainly aren't any seeking work in the Agriculture or Asian Hospitality Industry," he said.

Prior to becoming one of Australia's migration agents, he worked as a TAFE Senior Lecturer in Hospitality for over 27 years.

He said during that time, and to this day, there has never been a sufficient number of trained cooks who stay long enough to fill the perpetual skills gaps in this industry.

Apparently one year of training will not render a chef skilled enough to cook in a restaurant that serves a specific style of cuisine.

However, employers are understandably reluctant to sponsor overseas workers and pay them an annual salary of $53,900 for essentially working as "a skilled kitchen hand".

As far as he is aware, there are also no RTOs training Asian chefs in any specific style of cuisine in Australia, so "there will always be a shortage".

He has experienced the same skills shortages in the agricultural industry, providing product graders and mobile agricultural plant operators to many farms through the 457 visa program.

In his 10 years of doing so, the migration agent said he had never found an Australian permanent resident and citizen willing to take on such work.

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