Tuesday the 11th November 2014
Volume 349

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Welcome to the latest edition of IMMIGRATIONews and to the new subscribers. IMMIGRATIONews is proudly sponsored by Australian Immigration Law Services. For new readers you can subscribe using the link on the right hand side. Please feel free to forward this e-mail to any of your friends.


Today we cover training colleges and our report on vocational colleges flouting rules of minimum attendance requirements as well as an explanation of the all important ANZSCO and how important it is to check it against your job description.

Colleges bending the attendance requirements

By: Tanaya Das


On August 4 2014, North Sydney based Williams College shut down as a higher education operator following a ruling by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency that it is too financially risky.  


A girl in Sydney's CBD handing out little bookmarks advertising a Vocational College.

The national training regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority, also looked into complaints against other colleges linked to William's management; Lloyds International College, North Sydney English College, Mercury Colleges and Cambridge College International. 


Some time has past since the scandals during 2008-09 when some unscrupulous private vocational colleges allegedly operated as virtual "visa factories" offering low quality qualifications to international students focused on migration. The recent events surrounding Williams College are raising concerns in one of most important industries, that the cycle may be repeating itself. 


It is a point of contention to many that migrants come to Australia under the guise of obtaining a tertiary degree for the sole aim of securing Permanent Residency. To many international students in Australia, "PR" is a glittering prize of a new life in a new country.


Post the scandals in 2008-09 there was a wide-spread crackdown on colleges and students were told that they would have to start attending regular classes and regular audits became a part of vocational education.


As a result, over 64 vocational institutions closed down during 2009-2010 mostly in the States of Victoria and New South Wales.   


However, there are still reports that colleges in Australia are open about requiring low attendance and will make it easy for students to pass the courses because due to the demand for students to use vocational education as method of prolonging their stay in Australia.


IMMIGRATIONews decided to visit a few Sydney colleges to find out if it was easy to find a school willing to allow low attendance for international students.


It was a revelation to visit many of Sydney's shop front vocational colleges with miniscule classrooms as it is such stark contrast from the University campuses.


There is a cluster of colleges in Sydney's west where everyone from the staff to the teachers to the students, were no one was speaking any English in the offices as well as corridors. In some colleges the language of instruction for these Australian qualifications is not English. It was a touch of irony that many conversations in the college offices were about students struggling to get the required English score in the various English language tests immigration requires. We are sure teaching students in languages other than English is not helping their abilty to improve upon their IELTS tests results. 


IMMIGRATIONews discovered it was easy to walk into a college and ask for a course that requires low attendance. Some colleges are also quick to issue a Confirmation of Enrollement (COE) and the first installment of fees can be brought down to just $500.


In a visit to college in Granville I was told if I could pay $1500 every other month and made the payments on time, I would be required to come in just for an hour or two a couple of days a week. However I insisted that I needed to work full-time on a student visa and had to send money home so coming in for classes was not an option and I couldn't afford $1500 every alternate month. After a lengthy discussion we decided that I would need to come in for three hours one day a week and would pay $1250 every other month for a business qualification. I asked how I would pass the exams and clear the course and was told not to worry because they would work something out for me as most students had similar issues.


Since 2001 the number of private colleges has risen from 664 to 4892. Industry insiders have continually suggested that a lot of them are used as visa factories.


However many colleges in the city as well as North shore were not only reluctant to discuss low attendance they were insistent that students can only work 40 hours over a fortnight and working more than that violates visa conditions. They were also keen to see my IELTS test results and asserted that they weren't going to be flexible with attendance requirements.

The ANZSCO and duty descriptions



The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) is a classification system that provides for the standardised collection, analysis, and dissemination of occupation data. 


The ANZSCO definitions of occupations are the Holy Grail for Skilled Migration and Temporary Business Entry visa programs where assessment of a visa applicant's skills to undertake a specific occupation in Australia is the main processing requirement.


For most visa applicants it is like a dictionary they can consult to know exactly what their occupational duties should cover. ANZSCO sets out what qualifications and experience you need to perform specific jobs and what your tasks would be in that occupation.


The ANZSCO definitions are used as the standard by which a visa applicant's skills and work experience to undertake a specific occupation in Australia are assessed by the various skills assessing bodies as well as the Department of Immigration.


There are five skill levels in ANZSCO and they are defined in terms of formal education, previous experience and on-the-job training. The code itself contains six digits and includes built in groupings, which make it easy to find and research.


The Department of Immigration uses ANZSCO for assessing whether an application meets the criteria for nomination of an occupation. They will want to ensure that the person being nominated has qualification relevant to the occupation and/ or evidence of experience, for example, work references and pay advices.


Referring to the code is especially helpful when one is working in an occupation in a similar discipline to another occupation. For example: Bookkeeper 551211 and Accountant (General) 221111.


Bookkeeper is a skills level 4 occupation where as Accountant is a skill level 1 occupation and even though to a lay person it is just numbers and spread sheets, the ANZSCO descriptions are very clear in differentiating between the two and the required skills level.


You can read below the ANZSCO description and list of tasks which make it clear that these are two completely different occupations with separate skill sets and qualifications. A bookkeeper is a financial records keeper of sorts and an accountant does much more than that.


Bookkeeper ANZSCO description; maintain and evaluate records of financial transactions in account books and computerised accounting systems.



  • keeping financial records, and maintaining and balancing accounts using manual and computerised systems
  • monitoring cash flow and lines of credit
  • preparing and producing financial statements, budget and expenditure reports and analyses using account books, ledgers and accounting software packages
  • preparing invoices, purchase orders and bank deposits
  • reconciling accounts against monthly bank statements
  • verifying recorded transactions and reporting irregularities to management

may be required to prepare forms reporting business tax entitlements and obligations such as the amount of goods and services tax paid and collected


Accountant ANZSCO description; provide services relating to financial reporting, taxation, auditing, insolvency, accounting information systems, budgeting, cost management, planning and decision-making by organisations and individuals; and provide advice on associated compliance and performance requirements to ensure statutory and strategic governance.



  • assisting in formulating budgetary and accounting policies
  • preparing financial statements for presentation to boards of directors, management, shareholders, and governing and statutory bodies
  • conducting financial investigations, preparing reports, undertaking audits and advising on matters such as the purchase and sale of businesses, mergers, capital financing, suspected fraud, insolvency and taxation
  • examining operating costs and organisations' income and expenditure
  • providing assurance about the accuracy of information contained in financial reports and their compliance with statutory requirements
  • providing financial and taxation advice on business structures, plans and operations
  • preparing taxation returns for individuals and organisations
  • liaising with financial institutions and brokers to establish funds management arrangements
  • introducing and maintaining accounting systems, and advising on the selection and application of computer-based accounting systems
  • maintaining internal control systems
As you can see the ANZSCO is quite exhaustive in describing every details of duties to be conducted under a specific occupation. It is therefore widely consulted by everyone from visa applicants, to migration agents, skills assessing bodies, employers as well as the Department of Immigration.
Child care colleges churning out graduates who can't change nappies and don't know enough English to fill out paper work.  
-The Australian reports. 
Hand writing Child Care with marker on transparent wipe board.

The Australian Skills Quality Authority has in the past three months audited one in four of Australia's 289 training ­colleges offering childcare, and judged 80 per cent to be substandard.  

  The audit of 77 colleges was triggered by complaints to the Productivity Commission's childcare inquiry about "poorly trained'' staff with "fast and cheap'' qualifications.One of Australia's biggest childcare providers, KU Children's Services, complained to the Productivity Commission about a "large number of low-quality priv­ate providers'' offering "fast and cheap'' training courses.


The skills quality authority is also investigating complaints that underqualified foreign plumbers are using "tick and flick'' training courses to become registered in Australia. Queensland's Plumbing Industry Council rejected about half the licensing applications from foreign applicants this year, before it was disbanded last month.


You can read the entire story that appeared in The Australian here.


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Australian Immigration Law Services




"Since 2001 the number of private colleges has risen from 664 to 4892."  







"I asked how I would pass the exams and clear the course and was told not to worry because they would work something out for me as most students had similar issues."













































"ANZSCO is quite exhaustive in describing every details of duties to be conducted under a specific occupation. It is therefore widely consulted by everyone from visa applicants, to migration agents, skills assessing bodies, employers as well as the Department of Immigration."  



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