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The occupational ceilings for the skilled migration programme the 2014-15 years were announced earlier this month with the quota for several occupations notably teachers, accountants and construction trades were falling whilst the quotas for registered nurses, engineers and IT professionals are increasing.

Registered nurses remain the most wanted occupation in the Australian workforce if you go by the occupational ceiling numbers. The occupational ceiling for registered nurses was increased to 15,042 places in the latest skilled migration programme. This is more than double the quota of any other occupation group. IT Professionals and Engineers would be particularly pleased to note the increase in the number of places as the quotas for these professions almost reached their limit last year.

Occupational ceilings limit how many invitations to apply are issued by the Department of Immigration each year for general skilled migration for a particular occupation. This is to ensure that the migration program is not dominated by a small number of occupations. Generally, applicants with an Expression of Interest in occupational groups which have reached their ceiling will not be invited to apply for a visa but however will remain in the EOI pool for two years from the date of submission, or until they are selected to apply when a fresh quota is issued.

Occupational ceilings do not apply to Employer Sponsored or Business Innovation and Investment visa subclasses and have now also been removed for State or Territory Nominated, visa subclasses. Effectively this means that states can nominate occupations for Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 and Skilled Regional Subclass 489 visas even if the ceiling has been reached.
The top 10 occupations in demand are as follows:

Rank ANZSCO Unit Group ID Occupation Ceiling Value Numbers Invited (21 July 2014)
1 2544 Registered Nurses 15042 153
2 3411 Electricians 7854 11
3 3312 Carpenters and Joiners 7164 8
4 2414 Secondary School Teachers 7002 26
5 3232 Metal Fitters and Machinists 6816 5
6 3212 Motor Mechanics 6444 4
7 2211 Accountants 5478 228
8 1331 Construction Managers 5178 8
9 2613 Software and Applications Programmers 5004 207
10 3223 Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers 4482 2
11 3341 Plumbers 4464 1
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