The Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon Andrew Robb and the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash today announced that chefs, bricklayers and wall and floor tilers will be added to the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) from July 1 to help meet the skills needs of the Australian economy.

Minister Robb said the addition of chefs to the SOL reflects that the occupation is in short supply, coupled with strong growth projected in the café and restaurant sector.

“The inclusion of chefs, as well as the further inclusion of building and construction occupations will ensure Australia can fill the workforce needs of the next wave of tourism infrastructure,” Mr Robb said.

“We are seeing investment interest from a number of international hotels groups. Luxury high-yield Banyan Tree resorts visited Queensland recently. Hong Kong-based Marriot hotel group have announced their Ritz Carlton brand is re-entering the Australian market after more than a decade with a new hotel in Perth and Crown’s plans for Barangaroo in Sydney will add to the city’s luxury tourism offering.”

“These developments will need a tourism and hospitality workforce that will ensure Australia can compete at the high-value end of the tourism sector – including international quality chefs,” he said.

Minister Cash said the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA) provide annual recommendations on the SOL to ensure it responds to Australia’s changing skill needs.

“The AWPA analyses evidence such as the labour market, education and training, migration and general economic and demographic data to make sure we get the balance right,” Minister Cash said.

“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.”

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. 

No existing occupations are being removed from the SOL, which currently lists 188 occupations that Australia needs.

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