18 December 2008

TRA delays implementation of revised assessment standards and procedures

Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) has announced it would indefinitely delay the implementation of its proposed changes to the assessment standards and procedures.

TRA is a government-approved body that assesses the skills of prospective Australian migrants.  Before having an application for a permanent Australian visa approved under the Australian skilled migration programme, migrants must have their skills assessed by the relevant assessing body before lodging their application.

After many months of consultations, TRA announced it would be introducing a new Migration Assessment Policy (MAP) to allow the thousands of skilled tradespersons who have been unable to continue on their path to migration to Australia following the closure of Skilled Pathway D in September 2007.
Pathway D was a route to gaining an Australian visa for the many capable workers who lacked the formal qualifications required by the Australian authorities for assessment under Pathway A or B.  Since its removal, there have been repeated announcements by the TRA regarding new timescales for a replacement.
The new MAP stood as the most recent initiative that offered hope to migrants currently stranded without a path into Australia.  It would essentially consist of two streams; Stream A and Stream B.  Stream A would assess those workers trained and qualified in Australia, while Stream B would assess internationally trained or qualified skilled workers. 
Within each stream, TRA would assess workers for either their former vocational training or formal skills recognition, and their term of employment using that skill.  Additionally, TRA would reduce the term of employment from five years to four, which would allow younger or less experienced workers to qualify for skilled migration to Australia.
However, with the MAP now lacking any set date for implementation, the decisions for thousands of migrants is left hanging in the balance.  While the MAP appeared to be the answer, its indefinite delay could have a devastating effect on the ambitions of thousands of skilled workers who have been waiting patiently for 12 months to receive a positive update from the TRA.
Applications for skilled migration will continue to be assessed using the Uniform Assessment Criteria (UAC). 

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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