The Occupational Ceilings for the 2016-17 financial year have been announced. The Occupational Ceilings are the maximum number of invitations that can be issued for skill visas
The occupational ceilings give a good idea of whether the waiting time or minimum pass mark will increase for the new program year. A summary of the changes by Occupational Category is below:
Accountants and Auditors
There is good news for accountants and auditors with a significant increase in the occupational ceiling.
The ceiling for Accountants has increased by 89% to 4,777 places – this was the biggest increase in percentage terms for 2016-17. The ceiling for auditors has increased by 41% to 1,413 places.
Most of the IT occupations were also filled in the 2015-16 program year, and also faced higher minimum scores for an invitation for most of the year.
The news is somewhat mixed for IT professionals in the 2016-17 program year:
- Computer Network Professionals: ceiling reduced by 28% to 1,426 places. The minimum invitation score for this occupation was 60 for most of the 2015-16 year. We expect this minimum score to increase to above 60 for 2016-17.
- Software and Applications Programmers: ceiling increased by 6% to 5,662 places. The minimum score for this occupation was 65 points for much of the year – we expect this to stay about the same or possibly reduce for 2016-17.
- ICT Business and Systems Analysts: ceiling reduced by 4% to 1,482 places. For this occupation, we saw minimum scores of 65-70 points required for an invitation – we expect this to continue for 2016-17.
Engineers will face occupational ceiling reductions for most occupations, but this is unlikely to have any significant impact on engineers applying for skilled migration:
- Engineering Managers: increase of 39% to 1,407 places. As the occupation was only 3% filled in 2015-16, this is unlikely to have any impact
- Civil Engineering Professionals: 27% decrease to 2,174 places. This occupation was only 45% filled in 2015-16, so this is unlikely to have any impact
- Electrical Engineers: 2% increase to 1,254 places. This occupation was only 45% filled in 2015-16, so minimal impact
- Electronics Engineers: no change – remains at 1,000 places
- Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers: 14% reduction to 1,539 places. This occupation was filled in 2015-16, so we may see an increase in minimum points score for an invitation
- Mining Engineers: Eliminated from SOL for 2016-17
- Telecommunications Engineering Professionals: No change – 1,000 places
- Other Engineering Professionals: No change – 1,000 places
Most specialisations will remain largely unchanged for the 2016-17 program year. However, the category of Other Medical Practitioners will increase by 32% to 1,315 places. This was by far the most popular category within this occupational group so will ensure that sufficient places will be available for the 2016-17 year.