WA Building and Construction Skilled Migration Boost | New Visa Incentives
Skilled migration initiatives are now available to boost WA’s building and workforce capacity and help employers attract and engage skilled workers from overseas. Given that the building and construction industry is experiencing persistent skills shortages, here’s how employers and skilled migrants can benefit from the initiatives that are now available, including:
- Grants of up to $10,000 per visa holder through the Construction Visa Subsidy Program (CVSP)
- A streamlined WA’s State Nominated Migration Program (SNMP)
- Financial support of up to $7,500 to skilled migrants through the Job Connect Program
- Faster Occupational Licensing for Skilled Migrants
- An enhanced Skilled Migrant Employment Register (SMER)
Construction Visa Subsidy Program (CVSP)
As part of the WA State Government Budget 2023-24, $11 million has been committed to the new Construction Visa Subsidy Program, providing around 1,100 visa subsidies of up to $10,000 per visa holder.
The grant payments can be paid to either the employer or skilled visa holder to help offset the costs of engaging skilled migrants, such as migration agent fees, visa application fees and relocation costs.
Employers may be able to access the Construction Visa Subsidy Program if they:
- Sponsor a skilled migrant(s) for either a Subclass 482 TSS Visa, 494 Regional Visa or 186 Permanent Residence Visa (it is possible to apply for multiple grants depending on skilled migration needs)
- Are headquartered and need to fill building and construction positions in WA in eligible occupations
Skilled migrants may be able to access the program if they:
- Are granted a visa through the WA State Nominated Migration Program in either the Subclass 190 Independent Skilled Visa or 491 Regional Visa
- Are employed by a business that is headquartered and engaged in building and construction work in WA
- Work in an eligible occupation
Additionally, $2.4 million will be dedicated to promoting skilled migration to WA and providing advisory services to create a smoother transition to working in Australia.
Changes to WA’s State Nominated Migration Program
To help employers engage skilled migrants more easily and efficiently, the WA State Nominated Migration Program (SNMP) will undergo temporary changes. This involves:
- Waiving six-month employment contract requirements for Subclass 190 Visa applicants for building and trade occupations
- Prioritising Independent Skilled Visa invitations for the building and construction industry and other industries experiencing critical demand.
Recently, the State Government added 34 in-demand construction occupations to WA’s Skilled Migration Occupation List, expanding access to skilled workers under more occupations.
The State Government is also requesting that the Commonwealth Government secure an additional 1,000 placements for the WA SNMP in the 2023-24 program.
Invitation rounds for State Nominations for the 2023-24 program year will commence once the WA State Government receives its allocation of placements from the Commonwealth.
Skilled Migration Job Connect Program
$4.25 million of the WA State Budget has been dedicated to establishing the Job Connect program. The program aims to remove barriers that skilled migrants may face when seeking employment in WA.
Financial support of up to $7,500 will be available to skilled migrants to undergo skills assessments, gap training, and meet occupational licensing requirements, in order to have their overseas qualifications and experience recognised for employment.
Faster Occupational Licensing for Skilled Migrants
A $2.7 million boost in resources has been allocated to expedite approvals of occupational licensing, which will provide a more efficient process for migrants seeking work in licensed occupations.
Skilled Migrant Employment Register (SMER) Enhancements
The Skilled Migrant Employment Register currently helps to connect migrants with WA jobs and will be improved to enhance its effectiveness.
The register can be used by both skilled migrants seeking employment in WA and by WA employers that have not already found a skilled migrant they would like to sponsor. More than 4,600 migrants and 140 employers have registered.
Interstaff | WA Building and Construction Skilled Migration Boost
These initiatives complement the $195 million Reconnect WA program, which aims to attract overseas skilled workers, backpackers, and international students to WA in key industries, such as building and construction.
For organisations, the initiatives will likely provide greater opportunities to fill critical job vacancies and address skills shortages in the industry. It will now also be more cost effective to employ skilled migrants, as well as quicker and easier to engage their services. For suitably skilled migrants, the changes will provide greater support and financial incentives to find employment in the building and construction sector in WA.
Interstaff‘s Registered Migration Agents can assist employers and skilled migrants in navigating these new opportunities. For advice on eligibility and guidance throughout the application process, we encourage you to contact our Registered Migration Agents.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.