Thursday, 13th of November 2014 Issue #1 November
No Borders Newsletter

TOP STORY

Accounting will remain in 2015 SOL

Issues of this month

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Accounting won't be dropped from 2015 Australian Skilled occupation list

Reports that accountants will be dropped from Australia's list of skilled occupations for 2015 have been denied.

According to prominent reports in the Australian media, concerns about the number of accountants who cannot find jobs had led to officials wanting to withdraw the occupation from the list of professions that qualify for skilled worker visas.

However, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and CPA Australia have both said that accounting must stay on the list as there is a shortage of accountants.

In a submission to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection's review of skilled migration, they argue that instead of moving occupations on and off the list as eligible to apply for migration, a sliding scale reflecting the undersupply or oversupply of skills should be implemented.

This comes at a time where there is a huge debate over the number of overseas students encouraged to study subjects like accounting at Australian universities because of the benefit to the Australian economy. The problem is, many of these students are unable to find jobs when they graduate.

Indeed, a recent study from Deakin University described international students as a 'crucial cash cow for universities'. The three year study concluded that international graduates find it extremely difficult to get professional work in Australia, despite having qualifications in areas of supposed skills shortages.

It singled out accounting, nursing and engineering graduates as encountering multiple barriers to getting a job, including a tough jobs market and local firms unwilling to take on staff without permanent residency.

The Deakin University report, Australian International Graduates and the Transition to Employment, also says that international graduates without a permanent visa are unlikely to find work in their discipline area in Australia.

'According to our interviews with employers, academics, peak bodies and international graduates, without permanent residency, international graduates are unlikely to secure employment in their field in Australia,' the report states.

However, officials have denied the reports about accounting. 'There are no plans to remove this occupation from the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) for the 2015 programme year,' said a spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

He explained that the Office of the Chief Economist in the Department of Industry conducts analysis each year on the composition of the SOL. 'The next advice is expected in March 2015 after the completion of extensive labour market analysis and a public consultation process,' said the spokesman.

'This year, the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency, whose functions have been incorporated into the Department of Industry, released a detailed analysis of accountants and concluded that they should continue to be included on the SOL,' the spokesman added.

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Visa holders urged to report sponsors who ask for visa costs to be repaid

Foreign workers sponsored by Australian companies on 457 visas are being urged to make sure they know their rights and report employers who abuse the system.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has pointed out that sponsor businesses have a number of obligations they must follow or face serious penalties and fines.

'Your sponsor cannot ask you to repay specific costs, such as the costs associated with your sponsorship and nomination. Visa holders need to be aware of their sponsor's obligations,' said a DIBP spokesman.

'Everyone working in Australia is entitled to basic rights and protections in the workplace. If you are a visa holder and believe that your sponsor is not meeting their sponsorship obligations you can report them anonymously,' added the spokesman.

Visa holders should be aware that if their sponsor is making them work excessive hours or their rights are not being met in the workplace, they can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman which can help settle workplace disputes.

457 visa holders
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Highly specialised short term visa for Australia extended to six months

short term visa for australia extended to 6 months

A visa for those wishing to work in Australia for a short period of time in a highly specialised job has been extended from three months to six months.

The Temporary Work Short Stay Activity Visa (Subclass 400) is a dedicated visa for those seeking to enter and stay in Australia for non-ongoing short-term highly specialised work.

It usually lasts for three months, but from the 23 November 2014 it will enable the holder to stay in the country for short term work for up to six months.

This visa is often used by those who would have previously applied for Business Visitor Visas and ETAs for limited work opportunities.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) said that the change has been introduced to make these visas much more flexible for businesses.

It is likely to be welcomed by businesses that need specialists at short notice for discreet short term periods.

Stays longer than three months will need a strong business case to show that employment conditions satisfy Australian workplace standards and that the activities will not adversely impact Australian workers.

Businesses will need to provide evidence about the nature and importance of a project, evidence that specialist skills are required, evidence of contractual obligations, details of the number of Australians to be employed on the project and the time available to train an Australian to do the proposed work.

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Australian employment rebounds, new figures reveal

Those looking to live and work in Australia will be pleased with the latest figures, which show that employment rebounded in October to keep the jobless rate steady at 6.2%.

The figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that employment rose 24,100 in October, recovering from a revised 23,700 drop the previous month. All the gains came in full time jobs, which climbed by 33,400.

Overall, the number of people employed increased to 11,592,200, driven by increased full-time employment for both females, up 26,100, and males, up 7,300. This was partly offset by decreased part-time employment, down 9,400 to 3,533,700.

The ABS seasonally adjusted aggregate monthly hours worked series increased in October 2014, up 24.9 million hours (1.6%) to 1,614.4 million hours.

The seasonally-adjusted number of people unemployed increased by 7,100 to 772,100 in October 2014, the ABS figures also show.

New South Wales, the nation's most populous state, led job gains with 17,300 added, ahead of Western Australia, the centre of the mining investment boom, with 13,100.

'Although some forward indicators of employment have been firming [up] this year, the labour market has a degree of spare capacity and it will probably be some time yet before unemployment declines consistently,' said Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens.

Australian EMployment Rebounds
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Young people urged to be aware of rules when applying for Aussie visas

Aussie Visas

Young people eager to get work in Australia are being warned about potential visa fraud.

If someone offers sponsorship on the 457 visa programme with the intention of not offering paid employment in the nominated position, the Australian government considers this fraud.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) is keen that people should not be persuaded to get involved in scams and fraudulent activity.

A spokesman pointed out that it is the applicant's responsibility as well as the sponsor to make sure that they understand their obligations.

'Both sponsors and visa holders have obligations and conditions to ensure that visa fraud does not occur. If an obligation or condition is breached, there can be serious consequences for sponsors and visa holders,' he explained.

'The department takes allegations of fraud very seriously. There are significant penalties if you are caught engaging in fraudulent activity,' he added.

To help stop visa fraud, the department urges people to report any suspicious or potentially fraudulent activity by sponsors or visa holders.

We hope that you have found the information in this issue of our newsletter to be enriching and useful. Stay tuned for our next publication and if you would like to talk to us directly, please do not hesitate to email service@noborders-group.com. In addition, if you would like your contact details updated or removed from this distribution list or you know someone who would like to be added, please email us on the same address.


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