The PMSOL, introduced in September last year, is meant to ensure Australia can fill critical skilled occupations during the COVID-19 crisis. The list was updated based on consultation with the National Skills Commission, government departments, and Australian businesses.
Which occupations were added?
The PMSOL occupations (and their ANZSCO codes) are as follows. * Indicates a newly added occupation:
Chief Executive or Managing Director (111111)
Construction Project Manager (133111)
Accountant (General) (221111)*
Management Accountant (221112)*
Taxation Accountant (221113)*
External Auditor (221213)*
Internal Auditor (221214)*
Other Spatial Scientist (232214)*
Civil Engineer (233211)*
Geotechnical Engineer (233212)*
Structural Engineer (233214)*
Transport Engineer (233215)*
Electrical Engineer (233311)*
Mechanical Engineer (233512)
Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum) (233611)*
Petroleum Engineer (233612)*
Medical Laboratory Scientist (234611)*
Orthotist or Prosthetist (251912)*
General Practitioner (253111)
Resident Medical Officer (253112)
Medical Practitioners nec (253999)
Registered Nurse (Aged Care) (254412)
Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency) (254415)
Registered Nurse (Medical) (254418)
Registered Nurse (Mental Health) (254422)
Registered Nurse (Perioperative) (254423)
Registered Nurses nec (254499)
Multimedia Specialist (261211)*
Analyst Programmer (261311)*
Developer Programmer (261312)
Software Engineer (261313)
Software and Applications Programmers nec (261399)*
ICT Security Specialist (262112)*
Social Worker (272511)
Maintenance Planner (312911)
How will employers and workers benefit?
The expansion of the PMSOL is good news for employers experiencing acute shortages of skilled workers due to border closures. Notably, the occupation of Chef was added – a boon to the hospitality industry, which has suffered from further restrictions and lockdowns.
Importantly, priority processing will apply for applications with PMSOL occupations in the following visa subclasses:
Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482)
Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494)
Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186)
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa (subclass 187)
While applications with non-PMSOL occupations will continue to be processed, wait times are very lengthy – around 10 months for Subclass 482 applications, for example. By contrast, nomination and visa applications with an occupation on the PMSOL can cut processing times from months to just weeks.
The updated PMSOL also benefits offshore applicants, as prior to this change, it was extremely difficult to have applications processed offshore. However, workers sponsored by an employer in a PMSOL occupation will still need to apply for a travel exemption to enter Australia and undergo quarantine arrangements at their own expense.
The addition of new occupations to the PMSOL offers an opportunity for Australian employers to fill critical skill shortages, and opens up a pathway to Australia for appropriately skilled workers. While a positive step towards relieving some of the pressure off businesses, economic recovery and the ability of offshore applicants to enter Australia will largely depend on the country’s continued vaccine rollout and management of quarantine risk.
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