Accounting ‘not cut’ from immigration skilled occupations list for 2015

THE Abbott government has denied reports that accounting has been cut from the Department of Immigration’s list of skilled occupations for 2015.

International accounting students were panicked today by incorrect reports the profession had been dropped from the immigration skilled occupation list, fearing they would be locked out of migrating and obtaining jobs in Australia once they had qualified.

However, a spokesman for Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash said the Department of Industries was not due to make a recommendation on the composition of the skilled occupations list until early next year.

Senator Cash will make a final decision on the skilled occupations list after she receives that advice.

Peak accounting bodies Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and CPA Australia have been keen to retain accounting on the skilled occupations list.

University of Technology, Sydney accounting lecturer Amanda White said any decision to drop accounting would hit international student numbers, who were a large component of accounting courses.

She said while some international students chose to study in Australia so they could take their skills back home, many did so with the hope of eventually migrating to Australia and finding jobs in the country.

Dr White said while the peak accounting bodies had argued there was a shortage of skilled accountants in Australia, anecdotally, students had been reporting that it was tougher to find jobs.

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and CPA Australia have called for changes to the skilled migration program arguing it is inflexible, too narrowly focused and does not allow certainty for business

In a submission to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s review of skilled migration, the groups 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.

A spokesman for Senator Cash said: “The report this morning that the occupation of accountant is to be removed from the Skilled Occupation List is incorrect.

“There are no plans to remove accounting from the Skilled Occupation List for the 2015 program year.

“There are processes in place to remove or add occupations to or from the SOL and these procedures will be followed as per the usual practice.”

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