As the Abbott government prepares to review the Consolidated Skilled Occupation List (CSOL), Chamber of Commerce and Industry director Jenny Lambert doesn’t want the CSOL list shortened.

Ms Lambert said the CSOL review needed to take an evidence-based approach that ­examined the locations and professions with high approvals of 457 visas.

She said the Australian workforce faces challenges meeting labour demand in regional Australia because of local workers’ strong ties to family and friends and the sheer size of Australia.

“Rather than migrants taking jobs from Australians, a well-balanced migration program generated jobs.

“If you start fiddling with the occupations of the CSOL, you will lose responsiveness to individual businesses and regions,” Ms Lambert said.

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The first review of the 457 eligible occupation list in three years has begun, with business and unions butting heads on what is needed.

Now under review by the Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration, antique dealers, funeral workers, jewellery designers, lawyers, print journalists and electricians are some of the occupations that are on the 650 Consolidated Skilled Occupation List.

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