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The Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA) has made a concerned push to get automotive industry occupations included in the government’s Core Skills Occupations List that affects decisions on skills shortages.

In its submission to Jobs and Skills Australia’s (JSA) consultation on the development of the Core Skills Occupations List (CSOL), aimed at addressing skill shortages in Australia, the MTAA said CSOL was a critical tool that identified occupations in demand where migration can alleviate shortages. 

“Being on the CSOL is a prerequisite for eligibility for the Core Skills Pathway under the new Skills in Demand (SID) visa,” the MTAA said. 

“For an occupation to be considered for inclusion in the CSOL, a reasonable proportion of the market should be able to pay above the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT). The TSMIT is currently set at $70,000 but is increasing to $73,150 from July 1, 2024.” 

MTAA commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to analyse full-time workers’ earnings to review nine selected automotive occupations against the TSMIT threshold. This analysis was supplemented by five case studies. 

The analysis reveals that more than 30 per cent of the market for full time workers pay above the TSMIT for eight of the nine occupations reviewed. 

As part of the modelling, 30 per cent of an occupation was selected as a reasonable earnings benchmark to compare against the TSMIT threshold. 

The MTAA said occupations currently listed for consultation by JSA demonstrated remuneration exceeding $73,150 for over 30 per cent of full-time workers. They are:

  • Panelbeater 
  • Vehicle Painter 
  • Motor Mechanic (General) 
  • Vehicle Body Builder 
  • Vehicle Trimmer 
  • Motorcycle Mechanic 

MTAA CEO, Matt Hobbs, said he believes this data underscores the importance of these occupations in the Australian automotive sector and supports their inclusion in the CSOL. 

“The findings from our commissioned analysis highlight the significance of various automotive occupations in meeting Australia’s skill needs,” he said.

Matt Hobbs

“We urge Jobs and Skills Australia to consider these insights in shaping policies that support the vitality of our industry and address skill shortages effectively. 

“As electric vehicles continue to grow in popularity, so too do the demands for skilled technicians capable of servicing and maintaining these advanced vehicles. 

“The increasing adoption of EVs underscores the urgent need for upskilling within the automotive sector to ensure a proficient workforce capable of meeting the evolving needs of consumers and the industry alike.”

By Neil Dowling

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