0007 Jim Oakley

General information

Submitterʼs name
Jim Oakley
Submitted on behalf of

About the submission

Please select the industry your submission is in relation to. If required, you may select multiple industries.
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services
Professional, Scientific and Technical
Please identify which occupations your submission relates to:
Specific occupations (eg Chief Executive or Managing Director)
Please choose all occupations to which your submission relates.
233111 Chemical Engineer
233112 Materials Engineer
233211 Civil Engineer
233212 Geotechnical Engineer
233213 Quantity Surveyor
233214 Structural Engineer
233215 Transport Engineer
233311 Electrical Engineer
233411 Electronics Engineer
233511 Industrial Engineer
233512 Mechanical Engineer
233513 Production or Plant Engineer
233611 Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum)
233612 Petroleum Engineer
233911 Aeronautical Engineer
233912 Agricultural Engineer
233913 Biomedical Engineer
233914 Engineering Technologist
233915 Environmental Engineer
233916 Naval Architect (Aus) \ Marine Designer (NZ)
233999 Engineering Professionals nec


1. Are there additional labour market factors, for which there are national datasets available (ideally aligned to 6-digit ANZSCO occupation level), that are relevant to future refinements to the Departmentʼs analysis and methodology?

What is the frequency of data release?

Australian Census - every five years. The Census is important for anchoring the percent of the occupational workforce in each age grouping, and for determining accurate unemployment levels. Sample sizes in Australian Labour Force Survey (ALFS) are too small at the occupation and Unit group level, and therefore suffer from significant sampling errors. The Census data can be compared with ALFS to see how accurate ALFS was in 2016.

2. The Department is also seeking submissions on suitable datasets that are disaggregated by region. Please provide details if you are aware of such a dataset, including whether it is aligned to ANZSCO occupations and how often the dataset is updated.

The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metals (AusIMM) annual member survey, publicly available, shows the unemployment rate of members by State. This is relevant to some engineering and scientific occupations.

3. Is there any other advice or evidence that the Department should consider in its review of the methodology?

Labour Market Factors:
Permanent visa grants are not listed but must be included. Permanent visas are a major component of the skilled migration program. They are responsible for most of the oversupply in the engineering labour market over the last few years.

Graduate outcomes are no longer reported by GCA but by the Social Research Centre, with much less data now publicly available.

Primary factors:
Internet vacancies should be a primary factor. They are the single best indictor of unsatisfied market demand and they are available for all or nearly all occupations. They are statistically valid, and for professions such as engineering represent probably 95% of all advertised jobs.

The ratio of the number of visa grants to internet vacancies is an important gauge of the state of oversupply of occupational labour markets. See

It is difficult to interpret skilled migrant outcomes in the absence of comparable data for Australian jobseekers in the same occupation. The average salary for skilled migrants is the same as the average for all Australians – skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled. How do you interpret that?

I agree that DoE is best placed to make projections of employment growth, but these are unreliable beyond a 1-2 year timeframe. For engineering occupations, see the data plotted:
It is debatable whether this should be a primary factor based on the stated criteria.

DoE employer survey results should be a primary factor for those occupations included in the survey. For engineering, the number of applicants per vacancy is a key objective measure of the number of unemployed, underemployed and displaced engineers competing for vacancies, over and above the usual churn in the workforce. However, the suitability of applicants is a highly subjective measure and should be secondary. Employer behavior and perspectives are not independent of the state of the labour market.

Points allocation and scoring:
MLTSSL – employer sponsored:
MLTSSL is based on fanciful projections of skills needs in 5-10 years time. Migrants can be brought in on visas within 3-6 months when needed, rather than 5-10 years in advance. 457 visas are for current skills shortages. How is MLTSSL relevant to 457 visas? This is a nonsensical concept dreamed up by DE&T/DIBP.

Points-tested permanent visas:
How is DE&T “long lead time” relevant? At the end of the “number of years required for completion of qualifications”, all you have is a graduate who has no experience, and who is of no use for most job vacancies. Bringing skilled migrants into oversupplied labour markets such as engineering based on supposed skills needs in 5-10 years time only serves to entrench unemployment and displacement from the profession.

There are major problems with transparency. Much data are not publicly available – eg. most of CSAM, permanent visas by occupation, 485 visa data, and now graduate outcome data.
Do you have any supporting material for your submission?

Last modified on Friday 10 November 2017 [38921|92831]