Australias New Migration System: What it means for Flooring

13 Dec 2023

The new migration roadmap released by the Commonwealth Government on 11 December will improve capacity to address skill shortages in the flooring industry and enhance FCIA members’ access to Australia's migration program.

The new migration strategy, if implemented fully, will provide sharper focus on identified skills needs influenced by industry consultation, improved targeting, and more efficient visa processing.

Key government commitments will assist in attracting overseas qualified installers to the flooring industry:

  1. Replacement of Temporary Skills Shortage Visas with a “core skills pathway” – will enable all employer-sponsored temporary skilled visa holders to have a clear pathway to permanent residency through a streamlined and updated points system.
  2. A new 4-year “Skills in demand” visa will allow periods of employment with any approved employer to count towards permanent residence. 
  3. Trailing employer fees will reduce the upfront costs to the sponsoring employers allowing smaller employers to afford to sponsor an overseas worker.
  4. A Streamlined visa processing service standard of 21 days will result in assessment within weeks rather than months.
  5. A new Core Skills Occupation List (developed by Jobs and Skills Australia) will replace the current Skills Needs List. As a member of the Skills Insight Jobs and Skills Council, FCIA will have direct input in the promotion of flooring as a critical national skills need.
  6. A public register of approved sponsors will enable FCIA to establish pools of committed employers offering “best practice” workplaces and paying annual wages above $70,000 to attract overseas workers to the flooring industry.
  7. An improved approach to skills recognition and assessment will reduce complexity and implement new standards, accountability, and transparency in how and when a visa applicant’s existing skills are assessed.

The Government has a lot of work to do to turn this blueprint into reality. Many more commitments are detailed in the 100-page migration strategy and a firm timetable has not yet been published. FCIA will work closely with the Department of Home Affairs, Jobs and Skills Councils, State/Territory governments, and unions to identify priorities, processes, and implementation milestones to rejuvenate the current dysfunctional skilled migration program for the flooring sector.

In the meantime, existing skilled visa pathways will remain in force as the new migration strategy is rolled out.

In parallel with our commitment to train local apprentices and recognise the skills of existing installers, FCIA will conduct industry webinars, issue member bulletins and consult with stakeholders to inform the flooring industry on how to engage with the new migration system to address our skills shortages in the short to medium term.

Download the summary Migration Strategy – At a Glance - Here: documents/migration-strategy-at-a-glance.pdf

Download the full Migration Strategy – Getting migration working for the nation - Here: documents/Aus-migration-strategy-2023.pdf

For further information or to discuss how the Migration Strategy could work for your business, please contact Garry Thomas, Company secretary FCIA on 0420 921 396 or