27 June 2008
Proposal to replace "Pathway D" for brand new TRA Migration Assessment Policy
The Department of Education, Employment, and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) has offered a replacement to the skilled "Pathway D", after continued lobbying from the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA). The proposal is still undergoing review and TRA are waiting for feedback from the MIA and its members.
Under the old system, workers looking to migrate to Australia through the skilled migration program had to meet requirements set out in the Uniform Assessment Criteria. There were five "pathways" in the criteria for migrants to qualify for a highly skilled visa. Pathway D created an avenue for formally unqualified but experienced workers to meet the requirements for skilled migration to Australia. It was closed by TRA in September 2007, affecting thousands of skilled workers looking to migrate to Australia.
As the largest stakeholder outside the government, the MIA collaborated with TRA to provide an alternate pathway for experience-based workers to qualify for skilled migration to Australia. The proposed solution has completely replaced the Uniform Assessment Criteria and its “pathways” for a new TRA Migration Assessment Policy.
The new Migration Assessment Policy has two streams; Stream A assesses those workers trained and qualified in Australia, while Stream B assesses internationally trained or qualified skilled workers. Within each stream, workers will be assessed for either their formal vocational training or formal skills recognition, and their term of employment using that skill. Under the new proposal, the term of employment has reduced from five years to four, allowing younger workers to qualify for skilled migration to Australia.
Various stakeholders are currently assessing the proposal, and TRA are waiting for initial consultations to take place before holding information sessions around Australia. An announcement about the proposed new policy will be made by TRA post-consultations, but if the response is positive it is likely it will come into effect on September 01 2008. The MIA is also planning information meetings for its members in preparation for these changes.
The MIA already stated it feels the proposed changes are fairer and will make applications simpler, if TRA promise to maintain transparency throughout the application process.