We recently posted a news story about the possible opening of an alternative to Skilled Pathway D for Australian visa applicants working in skilled trades. Any open alternative to Skilled Pathway D could renew the migration plans of literally thousands of skilled emigrants in the UK, Ireland, and all over the world, who want to make the move down under.
In September of 2007, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) closed the so-called Pathway D for skilled workers without formal qualifications.
Pathway D was a well-used route through the skills assessment stage of the Australian skilled immigration process. It was especially popular with skilled tradespeople in the UK and Ireland, as it allowed workers without formal qualifications, but with plenty of work experience under their belts, to qualify for skilled migration to Australia.
Despite this, DEEWR closed Pathway D, without warning or consultation.
It's hard to describe the bitter disappointment that the closure of Skilled Pathway D caused for many of our clients. Skilled workers looking to make the move to Australia suddenly found themselves unable to migrate.
We feel that that Skilled Pathway D made a positive contribution to Australia, and that its closure in September did a great deal of damage to the credibility of general skilled migration program. Australia needed skilled tradespeople to keep up with construction, engineering and mining booms all around the country.
From all accounts, the decision was made because of a failure of the system to pick up fraudulent documents being produced from certain countries, not the UK we might add! Unfortunately perception has changed and as one colleague so eloquently put it “the message gets magnified from “you can no longer emigrate to Australia under Pathway D, to “it’s impossible to emigrate to Australia now.” Not only are clients who were in the process of emigrating caught by this sudden change, but we have seen a noticeable drop in the volume of inquiries from people expressing initial interest in emigrating.
The Migration Institute of Australia (MIA), of which the Australian Visa Bureau is a member, has been lobbying steadily for the reopening of Pathway D or the creation of an alternative. That effort appears to finally be paying off.
On August 1 of this year, DEEWR will announce their collaboration with the MIA as part of an effort to create an alternative to Pathway D.
I’m cautiously optimistic about the news. Any alternative for skilled tradespeople to migrate to Australia would be great news for thousands of people in the UK and Ireland. It would give our case processing team all the pleasure in the world to call clients and prospective emigrants, with the news that we can proceed with their application.
We look forward to more news, and we’ll work to keep all of our clients up-to-date with the latest from DEEWR.
- Andy Harwood is the CEO of the Visa Bureau and a registered Australian Migration Agent.
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