Trades Recognition Australia (TRA)has provided an update on the skills assessment requirements for electricians due to the recent cases of potential migrant electricians being provided incorrect information about qualifications awarded in whole or part via Recognised Prior Learning and then having no clear pathway to skilled migration to Australia.
TRA is the authorised assessing authority for the occupations of Electrician (General) and Electrician (Special Class) under the Migration Regulations 1994, offering skills assessment services for migration and skills recognition. The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that an applicant can perform at the required skill level for their nominated occupation in Australia. TRA offers assessment services via the following programs, depending on the circumstances of the applicant for both occupations:
Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) skills assessment program
The TSS program provides skills assessments for applicants from nominated countries applying for a TSS visa, including those who are in the occupations of Electrician (General) or Electrician (Special Class). The program also supports successful applicants applying as an Electrician (General) and Electrician (Special Class) to access licensing to work in their occupation once in Australia.
Offshore Skills Assessment Program (OSAP)
The OSAP provides a pathway for applicants seeking a permanent migration visa which has requirements for a skills assessment. The OSAP is mandatory for people applying as an Electrician (General) or Electrician (Special Class). Once in Australia, a successful OSAP skills assessment for Electrician (General) and Electrician (Special Class) assists with a licence to work in that occupation.
Offshore Technical Skills Record (OTSR)
The OTSR is a record issued to migrant applicants for licensed trades (including electrical), who have received a successful skills assessment through the above programs. It was developed in 2006, as part of a Council of Australian Governments (COAG) pre-migration skill assessment trial, as a step on the pathway to occupational licensing in Australia for applicants who completed their training/employment overseas.
All Australian state and territory electrical regulatory authorities and licensing bodies support the OTSR pathway, and clearly state on their websites that migrant electricians with overseas qualifications and/or employment must be issued an OTSR to be eligible for the issuance of a provisional licence in the Australian state or territory in which they plan to work and reside.
TRA advises all applicants who are seeking an electrical licence to contact the relevant state and territory electrical regulatory authority directly, so they fully understand the regulator’s requirements before considering any other pathway. An applicant may be declined the issuance of a ‘provisional’ or ‘full’ electrical licence if they have chosen an alternative pathway that is not accepted by the relevant Australian state and territory electrical regulatory authority.