An occupation ceiling is a limit on the number of invitations that can be issued through Skill Select each year. The occupational ceiling varies for different occupations and a quota is set on a yearly basis. The occupation ceiling applies mainly to the following subclasses:
• Skilled independent visas
• Skilled regional sponsored visas
• Skilled or business state or territory sponsored visas.
Being aware of the Occupation ceiling for your nominated occupation makes is easier for you to determine if you possess the pass mark required to be able to get an invitation and approximate wait time for receiving the invitation. Aspiring applicants have been waiting to see what the Skill Select ceiling for their respective occupation is going to be for the 2016 – 17. Although initial reports suggested that Accountants may have a higher ceiling for this financial year the latest update on the 27th of June 2017 has confirmed that Accountants will still just have a maximum of 2500 places in the coming financial year. Most of the IT professions also faced some trouble in being able to get invited with a minimum score of 60 points last year and in the next financial year it is advised that the ceiling for Computer Network Professionals will be reduced whereas the places for Software and Application Programmers will be increased. ICT and Business Analysts which sees a large number of Expression of Interest application has also been reduced. Last year, most IT related occupations needed a minimum of 65 points to be invited and with reports regarding the Occupation Ceiling for the next year it is likely this trend will continue though in certain occupations it may also be reduced. Although most of the Engineering occupations have seen a reduction in numbers it is likely to not have a big impact on applicants getting invited. Engineering Managers have seen an increase but due to the lack on applications under the occupation it isn’t likely to make a huge difference. While Civil engineering professionals and Industry and Production Managers will be looking at a decrease in numbers there will be a small increase in the ceiling for Electrical Engineers. Most of the other occupations remain unchanged.
Medical professionals have always been an industry in Australia which has normally had a high ceiling and will remain unchanged for the next financial year. Interestingly, the most popular category for the year 2015 – 16 under this occupation which was ‘Other Medical Practitioners’ will see an increase to ensure that sufficient seats are available for applicants. Psychologists, Physiotherapists, Registered Nurses and Medical Lab Scientists have also seen increase in places. In regards to trades Chefs, Plasterers and Wall and Floor Tilers are expected to have a 15% increase while losing out on seats this year were Architects &Landscape Architects (16% percent decrease), Panel Beaters (12% decrease) and Metal Fitters (17% decrease). Among other occupations the biggest improvement in the number of seats was seen for Solicitors going up by enormous 58% while Social Workers had a seat reduction by 18%.
As per the current information it doesn’t look like there will be a big change for Accountants and Auditors while IT professionals may see a rise in the minimum pass mark to be able to get an invitation. This may make it imperative for applicants to find avenues to increase their points score by gaining work experience or completing a professional year program should they want to ensure an invitation to apply Permanent Residency in the financial year 2016-17.