Chefs, bricklayers and wall tilers will be added to the Federal Skilled Occupation List (SOL) from July 1 to help meet the skills needs of the Australian economy, according to an announcement from Senator Michaelia Cash and Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb.

The additions are a result of advice provided by the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA), an independent agency that provides annual recommendations to the composition of the SOL based on Australia’s economic shortcomings.

No existing occupations are expected to be removed from the List, as predicted by Migration Solutions back in March.

Minister Robb said there are a number of factors considered whenever alterations to the SOL are being discussed.

‘In this case, bricklayers and tilers have been added to the list because of an increase in demand predicted for these occupations as well as a decrease in apprenticeship completions,’ he said.

Chefs have reportedly been added for similar shortages, along with projections for strong growth in Australia’s café and restaurant sector.

‘Including chefs on the SOL will provide greater flexibility for businesses to recruit skilled chefs from overseas when they cannot source these skills locally,’ she said.

‘The addition of these occupations will be especially welcomed in regional areas, where there is a known deficit of skilled workers in the hospitality and construction industries.’

The SOL is used for people applying for the independent or family sponsored points tested visa or temporary graduate (subclass 485) – graduate work stream. Before prospective migrants can apply for independent skilled migration, they must submit an expression of interest via SkillSelect.

Anyone with questions relating to the additions are encouraged to contact Migration Solutions for further details or to discuss their visa options.

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