Tuesday 24th Oct, 2017

Institute questions geologist role on visa list

South32's Worsley alumina refinery. Photo: South32
The Worsley alumina refinery. Photo: South32

The Australian Institute of Geoscientists has questioned whether the role of geologist should be on the new list of eligible occupations for visa-seekers, citing a high number of unemployed geologists already living in Australia.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last week announced the replacement of the existing 457 visa scheme with a four-year and two-year working visa options, for a shorter list of eligible occupations.

Over 200 jobs were removed from the eligibility list, including hyrdrogeologist and geophysicist.

But geologist, AIG pointed out, remains on the list.

“The prospect that there are more than 1,100 unemployed geoscientists in Australia questions the need for geologists to remain on the list of occupations for which temporary work visa applications should be considered,” the institute said on April 18.

While the PM’s new plan will require employers to do sufficient local labour market testing before applying to sponsor overseas workers, the AIG questioned how well this requirement would hold up in practice.

“The application of labour market testing has … been a target for criticism in the past,” AIG said.

The institute suggested employers are not doing a thorough enough job of examining the whole market of jobseekers in the sector.

“In the past few years there has been a marked shift towards employment opportunities being filled through companies identifying candidates through profile searches on LinkedIn and other online employment services, or companies’ own databases containing approaches from potential candidates,” it said.