Canberra, Feb.8 (ANI): The Australian Government's move to overhaul its skilled migration program could affect its chances of remaining an attractive hub for pursuing higher education, feel political leaders and experts.
Canberra has announced that it will give priority to migrant doctors, nurses, school teachers and students who speak good English and have jobs already organised.
The changes, to be unveiled by Immigration Minister Chris Evans today, are expected to target professionals with university degrees who are sponsored by employers and discourage self-nominating migrants such as cooks, hairdressers and accountants.
The new policy will axe the Migration Occupations on Demand List, which lists 106 occupations in demand, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Only half the migrants entering Australia with skills on the MODL actually end up employed in their field and one-third end up unemployed or in a low-skill job, Senator Evans said.
A new Skilled Occupations List of high-value professions and trades drawn up by Skills Australia will replace it.
Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said there would be big transition costs associated with the changes, which would hit the international education sector hard.
This is because there are many foreign students already taking courses on the in-demand list, whose study may no longer improve their chances of permanent migration.
"There'll be many students who'll be caught between a rock and a hard place," Mr Morrison said.
"It addition ... there'll be a lot of pressure on those colleges (catering to overseas students) and I suspect many will fail. That will obviously have impacts for jobs," he added.
Australia's reputation as a destination for skilled migration could be jeopardised as a result, he said.
He urged the Government to ensure that two-thirds of Australia's migration program came from the skilled workforce. (ANI)