*UPDATE: RCB applications are now being taken, but not for the Perth metro area. Contact us if you would like to check your eligibility.
WA Labour has dealt a blow to migrants applying for RSMS Visas (subclass 187).
New applications to the WA Regional Certifying Board (RCB) have been temporarily suspended as of today (13th March 2017). The suspension comes just days after Labor stormed to victory in the WA election.
In most cases, before applying for a RSMS 187 Visa, applicants must have the position ‘approved’ by an RCB.
The first hint that Labor would seek to remove Perth from the RSMS scheme came earlier this year when Federal Labor Leader Bill Shorten suggested that WA’s ailing economy means there is less need for visa workers.
“Perth’s inclusion in the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme reflected the huge demand for workers during the peak of the mining boom,” he told the West Australian. “Those times have passed and it’s time it changed.”
Skilled Workers Still Needed
Despite the unemployment rate in WA rising in recent years, there is still evidence that employers struggle to fill certain skilled positions.
Speaking last year, Ian McDougall, General Manager of Hospitality Group Training, said many businesses are struggling to find skilled workers, particularly Cooks and Chefs.
Over 2,000 additional workers are needed in the next two years. He noted that just 30 per cent of apprentices complete their training.
“Smaller restaurants, cafes, pubs and to an extent the four and five-star hotels will always have problems,” Mr McDougall added.
True Blue Migration Services Directors Joy Hay and Maryanne Gruar said the RSMS 187 Visa can be a lifeline to small business owners who struggle to recruit and retain workers locally.
“The RCB process requires the employer to demonstrating that they have a genuine need to sponsor someone and that the position can’t be filled locally. Safeguards already exist to prevent the scheme being misused,” Ms Hay said.
“As part of the 187 visa application process, employers must also advertise the position and give locals the chance to apply.” Ms Gruar added. “RSMS sponsorship really is a last resort for many employers. Many of the business owners we speak to would love to hire locally but they simply can’t find the staff.”
The RCB website for WA states that “new information will be posted on the migration portal as it becomes available”. For now however, it’s unclear whether the program will be allowed to continue within the Perth metro area.
To discuss your visa options or if you have any concerns regarding the RSMS 187 Visa, contact the Registered Migration Agents at True Blue Migration Services today on (WA) 08 6189 5333 (VIC) 03 9038 9070.