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Old December 11th, 2008, 11:51 AM
Fiona Fiona is offline
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Default All Cookery and Hairdressing students need to read this News Article from "The Age"

Sushi Das

December 11, 2008

HAIRDRESSING and cookery are expected to be removed from the list of occupational skills in short supply in Australia a move that would affect migration rules and have widespread ramifications for the international education industry.

Thousands of international students who complete courses in hairdressing and cookery can gain extra migration points towards applications for permanent residency because the two trades are currently included on the Migration Occupations in Demand List.

It is widely acknowledged in the international education industry that hairdressing and cookery are popular courses among international students because the extra migration points allow a "fast track" to permanent residency in Australia.

But the impact on training colleges nationwide is expected to be far-reaching, with possible job losses and business failures.

The removal of cookery and hairdressing could result in a significant drop in students seeking to enrol in such courses, leaving TAFE and private training colleges struggling to fill classes.

Colleges that offer hairdressing and cookery courses and only have international students on their books, are likely to be hardest hit as student numbers drop off.

Private training colleges, particularly in Victoria, have boomed in recent years on the back of demand for hairdressing and cookery courses from international students.

For the year to July, national training sector enrolments jumped 44% on the previous year, reflecting the popularity of private training colleges as lucrative businesses thriving on fees from international students.

In Victoria, colleges registered to teach international students cookery and hairdressing far outnumber any other state or territory.

These colleges offer 134 courses in hairdressing and 109 courses in cookery.

Research by Monash University demographer Bob Birrell last year found international student enrolments in cooking and hairdressing nearly tripled between 2004 and 2006.

In response to questions by The Age, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Evans, said: "As has long been the case, the skilled migration program is monitored in light of the economic circumstances at the time. The Government has also been consulting business and industry about their future skills needs," he said.

The Australian Council for Private Education and Training, which represents private training colleges, called on the Government to install appropriate transitional arrangements for students and colleges.

"We've got the risk of job losses and business failure in already difficult times," said council spokesman Andrew Smith.

International education is a $13.9 billion industry in Australia
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Old January 6th, 2009, 05:40 PM
girishoonil girishoonil is offline
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Default about commercial cookery

when is it(commercial cookery) going to be removed from pr demanded course?
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Old January 7th, 2009, 10:25 AM
Fiona Fiona is offline
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Speculation is that it will be at the end of jan 2009
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Old January 7th, 2009, 12:12 PM
Fiona Fiona is offline
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Default Ministerial Statement re Critical Skills List

You can click here for the new critical skills list

This also contains a link to the ministerial statement detailing changes to the skilled migration program.

Last edited by StudyConnect-Katey : January 7th, 2009 at 02:22 PM. Reason: included link to other post
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Old January 7th, 2009, 05:42 PM
girishoonil girishoonil is offline
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i am going to take commercial cookery course in melbourne?
please make me clear what should i do if this course is in danger for pr?
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Old January 13th, 2009, 12:02 AM
HappyCat HappyCat is offline
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Originally Posted by girishoonil View Post
i am going to take commercial cookery course in melbourne?
please make me clear what should i do if this course is in danger for pr?
The reason they're stopping cookery and hairdressing PR is to avoid students coming in for those courses, and doing something else when they get PR.

In other words, they want to stop cooks who don't want to cook.

Look at the CSL and go for something you're 'really interested' in. Not for the sake of PR, but the subject.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 04:04 PM
ChadAckerman ChadAckerman is offline
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Default All Cookery and Hairdressing students need to read this News Article from "The Age"


Really great article! I wish
had something like this when I started using .
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Old May 14th, 2009, 10:23 PM
GladToHelp GladToHelp is offline
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Even if Cookery and Hairdressing are removed from the MODL list it does not mean that you wont be able to get PR.

You'll still be a 60 Point trade.
You'll still get 30 points for being under 30
You'll still get 25 points if you get IELTS 7.0
You'll still get 5 points for completing an Australian Course.

You can still get 5 points for foreign language skills, partner skills etc.

it just wont be SIMPLE but its still very possible. It will effect processing times but that wont matter if you are already here as you'll have a bridging visa and work rights.

If you cant make the points test you apply for TR work for a year and pick up
10 points for Aussie Work Experience.


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Old June 10th, 2009, 01:56 AM
subsequently subsequently is offline
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Default All Cookery and Hairdressing students need to read this News Article from "The Age"

Overseas student commencements in cooking and hairdressing courses have nearly tripled between 2004 and 2006. This growth reflects the advantages which Migrant Occupations in Demand List (MODL) listing of these two occupations has given for those seeking permanent residence in Australia. The article critically examines the standards of the Registered Training Organisations providing the training. In particular the state and federal regulatory bodies which oversee their operation do not assess the competency of those completing these courses. The article concludes that only a minority of those completing these courses and subsequently gaining permanent residence will actually enter the cooking and hairdressing occupations in Australia. There is an urgent need for reform to the procedures by which occupations come to be listed on the MODL and of the skilled migration regulations which have allowed the situation to develop.


Since mid-2001 the Australian government has provided incentives for overseas students studying at Australian universities to apply for permanent residence after completing certain university courses. This has prompted a surge of enrolments in these courses. Students completing accounting and information technology have dominated this particular means of gaining permanent residence. (1) By 2004-05, the onshore skilled overseas student visa categories (880, 881 and 882) constituted a major component of Australia's skilled migration program. (2)

A similar pattern is currently unfolding with overseas students who have completed trade level courses in Australia. This may be read as good news, since there are serious shortages in some construction, metal and electrical trades. But that is not where the immigration growth is occurring. Rather, it is among cooks and hairdressers. As indicated in Table 1, onshore skilled overseas student visas issued to cooks, and to a lesser extent hairdressers, increased sharply from 2001-02 to 2005-06. By contrast, Table 1 shows that there were only a tiny number of visas issued to former overseas students in other trade occupations.

A further surge in the number of visas for overseas students who have completed training in cooking and hairdressing is about to occur. This expectation stems from two sources. First, there has been a sharp recent increase in commencements in courses of study in the field of 'services, hospitality and transport', which includes commercial cookery and hairdressing, within the vocational training and education (VTE) sector shown in Table 2. Second, we believe that most of this growth is from overseas students interested in gaining a permanent residence (PR) visa on completion of their course. Table 2 indicates that:

* Between 2002 and 2006, the number of overseas students commencing vocational courses in the services, hospitality and transport field nearly quadrupled, from 4,516 to 17,869.

* Most of the growth took place between 2004 and 2006 when total commencements increased by 167 per cent, or 11,181.

* Based on recently released DEST statistics, this field accounted for 64 percent of total international commencements growth in the VTE sector between 2005 and 2006. (3)

* This growth was concentrated overwhelmingly in courses run by non-government or private training providers, which attracted 87 per cent of additional commencements between 2004 and 2006 (9,757 out of 11,181). The non-government sector had an 80 per cent share of all overseas student commencements in these fields in 2006.

There are two possible objections to the claim that visa applications based on cooking and hairdressing credentials will rise. One concerns the assertion that cooking and hairdressing dominate the 'services, hospitality and transport' field. Unfortunately the AEI database from which the enrolment data are drawn does not provide separate figures for commencements in cooking and hairdressing. Our confidence that enrolments in the 'services, hospitality and transport' fields are mainly in these courses derives from informants in the sector and from enrolment data taken from the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) website.

The second possible objection concerns the alleged link between enrolments in these fields and subsequent applications for 880, 881 or 882 visa subclasses. There were some 6,688 commencements in the 'services, hospitality and transport' field in 2004 but only a little over 1000 visas issued to applicants for these visas for cooks and hairdressers in 2005-06, a period when most of these 2004 commencers would have been eligible to apply for PR. But we expect a higher proportion of commencers, particularly in the cooking field, will apply for PR in the immediate future. This is because cooking was first listed on the Migrant Occupations in Demand List (MODL) in May 2005. As explained below, by this time, the attainment of credentials in a MODL listed occupation had become crucial if a student wished to obtain PR. This circumstance helps explain the dramatic increase in commencements in the 'services, hospitality and transport' field in 2005 and 2006 shown in Table 2.

The sudden availability of this opportunity for PR also helps explain the simultaneous rapid entry of private training organisations attuned to the overseas student market into the VTE cooking marketplace, as detailed below. The first concrete signs of the hypothesised surge in PR applications for cooks and hairdressers of such organisations is being registered at Trades Recognition Australia (TRA), the body responsible for assessing the trade credentials of PR applicants. According to data provided by TRA, the number of applications for assessment on the part of onshore cooks was 1104 in 2005-06. For 2006-07 (year to February 2007) there were 1743 applications. This implies at least 2500 for the full year 2006-07 and probably more, given that the normal pattern is for applications to be high through March, April and May. Hairdresser applications are also expected to double from 277 in 2005-06 to around 550 in 2006-07.

The article begins by exploring why the expansion of permanent immigration from former overseas students with trade qualifications will be primarily amongst cooks and hairdressers. There are some shortages of cooks and hairdressers, but nothing on the scale of vacancies for tradespersons in the traditional metal, electrical and construction trades. It then examines the characteristics of the nongovernment providers of cooking and hairdressing courses. What is the quality of their courses? Will the students who complete the training in question, and who go on to obtain PR, actually fill gaps in the cooking and hairdressing workforce? If as is argued, few fill such gaps, how is it that the government agencies involved in the migration process have let this situation develop?


Since mid-June 2001, former overseas students trained in Australia have been encouraged to apply for PR on completion of their university or trade courses. To do so, they have to meet criteria set in place by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). For most skilled migrants this involves an assessment hinging mainly on the skill level of their occupation, their age, job experience, and English language proficiency. As far as former overseas students are concerned, only those with certain professional or trade qualifications in occupations designated as '60-point occupations' are eligible to apply onshore. Cooks and hairdressers are included in the eligible trade occupations. If they are to be granted PR, applicants must reach a certain number of points (currently 120) on the basis of scores allocated for each of the assessment items. The Australian Government has encouraged recruitment of former overseas students by granting them an additional five points for their Australian training and by waiving the necessity for work experience in their nominated occupation, a criterion that applies to offshore applicants for skilled migration PR. As long as former overseas students apply for PR within six months of completing their course, and possess training acceptable for one of the '60 point' professional or trade occupations listed on DIAC's Skilled Occupation List (SOL), they are eligible to apply for PR under the three onshore student categories (880, 881 and 882).

The addition of cooking to the MODL list in May 2005 (hairdressing has been listed since 2001) has played a crucial role in determining the PR prospects for former overseas students because, if an applicant's nominated occupation is on the MODL, he or she gains an extra 15 points or an extra 20 points if they also have a firm job offer. These extra points are vital because DIAC raised the pass mark from 115 to 120 for overseas students applying for PR on or after 1 April 2005. This pass mark is extremely difficult to reach without MODL points. (4) Indeed, by 2005-06, relatively few onshore applicants without an occupation on the MODL gained a PR visa.

So, why has the response been so strong among cooks and hairdressers? There are a number of traditional trades in metal, electrical and construction industries listed on the MODL. The answer is that, for overseas students interested in PR, cooking and hairdressing offer the cheapest and most accessible training opportunity leading to the trade qualifications needed for immigration purposes.


The creation of immigration opportunities merely sets the scene. Understanding the surge in enrolments (detailed in Table 2) requires an awareness of the players in the migration process. There is a huge unmet demand for access to Australia from would-be migrants in East Asia and the Indian subcontinent. People want access to the income that Australian work opportunities offer. This may be through temporary work visas, such as the Business Long Stay visa, subclass 457. But access to permanent residence is even better. This eventually bestows rights to access Australia's generous social welfare system and public schools and universities for adult migrants and their children on the same terms as established residents. There is a network of immigration brokers and agents in Australia and overseas who advise and recruit prospective clients. They are attuned to the minutiae of migration regulation changes.

The vocational-training sector has become an integral part of the migration business. Many non-government training providers have links to migration agents here and overseas (or are themselves migration agents). Their training activities are guided by their knowledge of the immigration setting and are directed to the migration market. The explosion of commencements in 'services, hospitality and transport' courses in 2005 and 2006, particularly from India and to a lesser extent from China (see Table 3), is consistent with this set of hypotheses.


In the case of the traditional trades, the main training route available is via the apprenticeship system. Almost all domestic entrants into the traditional trades take out an indenture or 'contract of training' as an apprentice with an employer, where they learn on-the-job at a specified minimum award wage with a day or so a week set aside for classroom training, usually in a Technical and Further Education (TAFE) college. This route is generally not available to overseas students (including those wanting to obtain cooking and hairdressing credentials), since they cannot take out an indenture while on a student visa. In 2005, the Coalition Government introduced a Trades Skills Training visa for foreign nationals to undertake traditional apprenticeships in regional Australia, but this visa has been contentious and is scarcely used. (5)

However, there is an alternative institutional pathway to a trade or certificate 3 level qualification in cooking and hairdressing. (6) This does not require an indenture or any employment-based contract. It is accessible to overseas students and, most importantly, meets the qualifications standards required by DIAC for immigration purposes (though not the duration of training requirements--see below).

The availability of this pathway is a consequence of reforms in Australian vocational training arrangements since the early 1990s. The Federal Labor Government at the time wanted a more flexible and less time consuming trade-training regime. The genesis for this objective lay in the implementation of national competition policy. Under the rubric of national competition policy, the government sought to make vocational training more flexible through the creation of a vocational-training market. (7) Policy makers expected that private vocational training providers would present a welcome challenge to the dominance of TAFE colleges in vocational training. (8) TAFE control of vocational training was seen as a source of rigidity that impeded market adaptability. (9) After the Coalition gained office in 1996, a further motive for these reforms emerged; this was to overcome trade union resistance to changes in the traditional apprenticeship system. In this context, governments wanted an alternative to the apprenticeship system, so they encouraged a system of trade credentials based on classroom training. Currently, in the case of the certificate 3 in Commercial providers (as well as traditional providers, including TAFEs) must first gain the status of Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) in their field/s of training. RTOs are required to register with their respective state or territory authorities, after which they are automatically entitled to operate across all states and territories. (11) To gain this registration, RTOs must prove that they have the teaching resources needed to provide the skills included in the training package for the trade skill in question.


As with all PR applications under Australia's skilled migration program, persons trained in Australia in trade fields must first be accredited as bona fide tradespersons before their application will be processed by DIAC. For the trades, the assessing authority is Trades Recognition Australia (TRA), a unit within the Commonwealth Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR). TRA does a paper-based assessment of the qualification, the main criterion of which is that the applicant has completed a certificate 3 level course in an RTO relevant to the occupation the person has nominated. TRA also requires applicants to have completed 900 hours of 'relevant and directly related work experience'. (12)

A further requirement, this time specified by DIAC (since 2003), is that applicants must have completed at least two years of Australian training. In the case of cooking and hairdressing, where certificate 3 qualifications can be obtained inside a year, applicants often complete an additional year in the field, after which they obtain a certificate 4 (diploma level trade qualification). Alternatively, they can top up the certificate 3 course with some other training program which need not have any relationship to cooking or hairdressing.


These reforms have created a strong incentive for both public and private training organisations to establish themselves as RTOs in vocational courses that offer the possibility of a PR visa outcome to overseas students. The organisations can charge a substantial fee of around $10,000 per year, which is far more than is potentially available from domestic students. Examples of the fee structure are shown in Table 4. In each case, fees are listed for two years study because the RTOs listed are providing courses that meet DIAC's two-year training requirement. For their part, prospective overseas students looking for a PR visa outcome know that the financial, intellectual and English-language skill demands will be less than would be required were they to take a university level course. A two-year vocational program in cookery might cost under $20,000 (in 2007 prices), compared with $25,000 minimum in fees required for a two-year accounting course at a shopfront university like Central Queensland University.

One indication of the speed with which organisations have responded to the new market is shown in Table 5, which lists the number and year of initial registration of RTOs offering certificate level courses in cookery and hairdressing in Victoria. Forty-three per cent of the RTOs offering courses in commercial cookery in Victoria were first registered between 2001 and 2006, as were 31 per cent of the RTOs offering certificate level courses in hairdressing. In 2006 there were 11 new RTOs registered to provide certificate 3 level training in cooking.

A number of recently registered RTOs provide training in both cookery and hairdressing. Academia International, a Melbourne-based RTO first registered in 2005, provides an example. This RTO openly advertises its specialisation in 'skill shortage industries' including commercial cookery and hairdressing. Academia International indicates that it has 220 students, of whom 200 or 91 per cent are international, mainly from China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Korea and Sri Lanka. (13)

It is likely that most of the students enrolled in these courses will seek PR. Why would people from the main source countries of India, Bangladesh, China, Korea and Thailand pay $10,000 per year, for two years, to become a cook or hairdresser, if their intention were to return to their respective countries of origin? Some may see a financial or business advantage in their home countries from an Australian qualification, but they will be a small minority, especially in commercial cookery.

Based on our discussions with staff from major Victorian TAFE providers and RTOs in two states, the marketing of commercial cookery courses to overseas students on a full-fee basis is overwhelmingly based on these students' desire to gain PR in Australia.


The Australian and state governments assert that students trained by RTOs will meet high standards of quality. These are supposed to be achieved through Commonwealth administration of the Educational Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act (which regulates the performance of providers catering for overseas students) and state government control over the registration of RTOs and their monitoring of each provider's quality of trade training. State regulation is based on minimum skill sets and competencies for each trade occupation which are laid down in 'Training Packages' developed by industry, through national Industry Skills Councils which are endorsed by the National Training Quality Council. (14)

RTOs are accredited by their respective state or territory authorities (in Victoria it is the Victorian Qualifications Authority and in NSW it is the NSW Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board), to meet standards set out in the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF). These standards are intended to provide the basis for a nationally consistent, high-quality vocational education and training system. (15) The AQTF sets out a wide range of compliance requirements for RTOs including in the areas of finance, administrative practices (record keeping), staffing (including staff competency), teaching resources, commonwealth and state legislative requirements, such as anti-discrimination and privacy, and access and equity.

On the issue of competency, the guidelines are imprecise. When students are assessed, RTOs must ensure that 'the requirements of the Training Package or accredited course are met'. (16) These strictures are appropriate. The problem lies in their enforcement. RTO accreditation procedures focus mainly on the initial registration of providers, with only very limited provision for monitoring their performance. In Victoria, for example, initial registration is delegated to the Office of Training and Tertiary Education (OTTE) by the Victorian Qualifications Authority. Once registered, RTOs are essentially self-regulating, with their registration coming up for review every five years. The respective state/territory registering authorities are required to audit RTOs prior to initial registration, within 12 months of the initial registration, in response to complaints against the RTO, and prior to renewal of registration. (17) RTOs are required to document their activities for scrutiny by the state qualification authorities. But the audit process is predominantly paper-based.

There is no requirement for any independent or external competency testing of the students. This is a serious matter because, as documented below, TRA, the accrediting agency for those seeking PR as tradespersons, has to rely on the integrity of RTO internal assessment. This deficiency occurs despite the voluminous literature highlighting the importance of a 'competency-based' approach to vocational training and assessment, as opposed to the traditional notion of 'serving time' as an apprentice. For example, the '2005 to 2008 Commonwealth-State Agreement for Skilling Australia's workforce' states, in the case of the Commonwealth-Victorian Agreement, that Victoria will:
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Old September 8th, 2009, 07:16 PM
Valikie22 Valikie22 is offline
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Hi there, Thanks for sharing your experience!
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