13 March 2005

Government responds to changing ICT labour market

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The Australian Government has further reduced the number of ICT occupations and specialisations listed on the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL).

The updated list was jointly released today by the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Philip Ruddock and the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Tony Abbott.

The MODL no longer includes ICT managers and is limited to four ICT specialisations identified as being in shortage in the Australian labour market. The changes are a response to the changing labour market for information and communications technology (ICT) professionals.

They follow an earlier drop from 26 ICT specialisations in May 2001 to 12 in April 2002 and 5 in October 2002. These reductions (combined with the suspension of priority processing in July 2002) clearly demonstrate the Government is responding to the softening of the ICT labour market and the increased difficulties some Australian computing professionals are experiencing in finding jobs.

Reflecting research and analysis undertaken by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, the new MODL includes a number of health professions such as registered nurses, radiographers, radiation therapists, sonographers and occupational therapists. Other changes to the MODL include the removal of accountants, no longer assessed as being in national shortage.

The revision of the MODL means that targeted skilled migration will help fill jobs that cannot be readily filled from the local market and that migration concessions will not be available to migrants with skills that are not in shortage in the Australian labour market.

An efficiently functioning labour market is critical to the longer-term growth of the Australian economy. The Government, in consultation with relevant industry associations, will continue to closely monitor the labour market (including for ICT occupations) to ensure appropriate migration arrangements are in place.

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