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Draft Core Skills Occupation List (CSOL)

The Law Council of Australia provided a submission to Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) on the March 2024 draft Core Skills Occupation List (CSOL).

Giving all temporary skilled migrants a pathway to permanent residency and consolidating the skilled occupations lists into a single list are both aligned with previous Law Council recommendations.2 However, the Law Council sees opportunities for the CSOL to address skills shortages in Australia more effectively, through a more flexible underlying framework.

Removing occupations from such an important list needs to be achieved with caution. For example, there may be occupations that are less utilised, but that individually are filling positions crucial to the economy, or to business/government enterprises, or filling a role regionally that cannot otherwise be filled. The presence of such occupations on the list acts as a safeguard against skills shortages. It is still for businesses and government organisations to apply and justify that each position is a genuine one.

Further, no occupation should be removed based on Department of Home Affairs (DHA) feedback on the difficulty of assessing the genuineness of occupations. Examples of this include Motor Mechanics (General) or Customer Service Managers, for which the thresholds are much higher, and there has been a tendency to reject applications based on assumptions made about the size and scope of businesses without considering whether or not there are genuine skills shortages.

To best achieve flexibility, the Law Council recommends abolishing a skilled occupation list in favour of skill level classification.

Read the full submission below.


1 JSA, Draft Core Skills Occupations List (CSOL) for Consultation: <https://www.jobsandskills.gov.au/topics/migration-strategy/draft-core-skills-occupations-list-csol-consultation>.
2 Law Council, Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Migration, Migration, Pathway to Nation Building (31 March 2023): <https://lawcouncil.au/resources/submissions/migration-pathway-to-nation-building>, [61]-[67]; Law Council, Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Migration, Australia’s 2022-23 Migration Program (10 December 2021): <https://lawcouncil.au/resources/submissions/australias-2022-23-migration-program>, [64].

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