Chefs Still Welcome in Australia

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Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship in Australia, has released a media statement in response to criticism from the Australian restaurant industry. The criticism arose because of the decision by the Australian Government to remove the occupations of Chef and Cook from the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) which was published last week.

Employers in the restaurant industry were concerned that the new proposals would mean that the need for skilled workers within the industry would not be met.

In the press release, Senator Evans states that workers in the hospitality sector are still very much welcome in Australia. Skilled workers from the catering industry will be able to apply to live in Australia via various visas such as the 457 Visa, an employer-sponsored Visa or under the new government initiative, the State Migration Plan (i.e. occupations nominated for individual state migration plans). Senator Evans also aknowledged that there are still shortages of skilled workers in this industry.

The reason for the removal of catering occupations from the list appears to be the fact that some immigrants were arriving under the skilled migration program registered as Chefs and Cooks but were not working in those roles upon arriving in Australia. Hence the reason for the remaining skills shortage. Therefore, according to Senator Evans, the new system will ensure that visas are only granted to those people who are legitimately applying to work in the restaurant and catering industry. In the media release, he is quoted as stating: ‘the changes we have introduced will ensure that only those who have real jobs to go to in the industry will be granted visas’.

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