Wednesday the 12th of November 2014
Volume 350

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Today we bring to you reports from mainstream media outlets regarding Accounting being taken off the Skilled Occupation List in 2015. Australian Financial Review report has caused mass panic among education agents and students. As the news reaches more and more current and potential international accounting students it will have major impacts and is sending shock-waves already.


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Last night the Australian Financial Review reported that 

the Department of Immigration has dropped accounting from its list of skilled occupations in demand for 2015.


However, the story contained no official announcement made by the DIBP and no key industry players weighed in either. However once the news reached students many education and migration agents were called by panicked clients alarmed by this news.


IMMIGRATIONews spoke to Chris at CPA Australia who said "We are not aware of Accounting being taken off any list, we haven't been informed by any if the official sources and have no comments about it."


Today a spokesman for the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Michaelia Cash has made the following response to IMMIGRATIONews regarding the Australian Financial Review's story "The report this morning that the occupation of accountant is to be removed from the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) is incorrect. There are no plans to remove accounting from the Skilled Occupation List for the 2015 programme year."


IMMIGRATIONews tried numerous times to contact Ms Agnes King of the Financial review to obtain her reaction to the Minister's announcement that her article was incorrect, but she did not return our calls or messages. 


The fact that Accounting might be taken off the Skilled list as an occupation in demand has being doing the rounds for sometime now. Before the updated SOL was released for 2014 it was one of the most talked about topic among industry insiders, international students as well as the mainstream media.


 However the peak accounting bodies continued to lobby for accounting to stay on the critical skill shortage list stating qualified accountants were still very much needed and hard to find. However recently the Australian Financial Review reported that for the first time accounting bodies have publicly acknowledged the difficulties faced by international student graduate in finding professional work in Australia.


This change in stance formed part of a joint submission from the accounting bodies to the Department of Immigration and Boarder Protection recently.


 Australia's international education sector is of great importance to Australian society as well as has an enormous impact on the economy. According to ABS data international education activity contributed $16.3 billion in export income to the Australian economy in 2010-11. Many educational institutions rely on the income from full-fee paying international students to assist in the provision of quality education to all students, both international and domestic.


Accounting is an occupation that many international students pursue in Australia, The number of international graduates finishing undergraduate accounting degrees skyrocketed by 500 per cent between 2001 and 2012.


In the past five years, around 40,000 migrants have entered the country through the accounting skilled stream, dwarfing the numbers entering with other types of priority skills. 


The spokesman for the Assistant Minister's office has also stated that "There are processes in place to remove or add occupations to or from the SOL and these procedures will be followed as per the usual practice."


Reporting by: Tanaya Das



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