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Thread: Planning profession and the new MODL

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Planning profession and the new MODL

    It will be interesting to see how the urban planning profession fares in the new MODL due out. Its currently on the CSL (critical skills list), which only means they process the application faster and no additional points received. I guess immigration finally figured out those overseas TAFE students weren't really interested in becoming cooks or hairdressers and finally changed the program. Looked at the PIA site and nothing yet for a submission under the advocacy submissions.

    Links below:

    http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/gener...n/modl-review/
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/immig...0903-fa11.html

  2. #2
    This may set a record for acronyms. You spell out one, could you spell out the others?

    Thanks!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gotta Speakup View post
    This may set a record for acronyms. You spell out one, could you spell out the others?

    Thanks!
    The only one i know is TAFE- Technical and further education.

    also, they removed cooks and hairdressers, because a large number of international students use those occupations as a way to come into the country to study to be a hairdresser or cook only with the intention to get residency and find other work or to get into uni later on. Its a massive loophole in our system at the moment.
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    MODL= Migration Occupations in Demand List
    TAFE= Technical and Further Education (like a US community college)
    PIA= Planning Institute of Australia (like APA, only in Australia)

    Basically the post is about immigration reform and the hope to get urban planning on the MODL somehow. Have a look at the link:

    http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/gener...pdf/issue1.pdf

    The Department actually acknowledges the problem in the link above. With the current economic crisis, things are slow, but when things pick up they will have a real problem as many university educated planners are not working in planning anymore.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Something caught my attention in the report:

    "Second, the restriction of MODL to 60 point occupations means this tool cannot be used to target migrants with skills in 40 and 50 point occupations which may be of high value to the economy. Geologist and urban and regional planner are recent examples of occupations in demand that have not been able to be included on MODL due to the lack of a specialised assessing authority. As these occupations are ineligible for MODL, applicants with these skills may be unable to secure visas because of the structure of the points test. However, any moves to include 50 or 40 point occupations in the MODL would need to address the risks associated with generic skills assessment of these occupations."

    I remember graduating in 2005 and wondering if the urban planner would be put into the MODL then.

    But it's funny that they mentioned that planners are not included due to "the lack of a specialised assessing authority". :P

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Basically anyone with a 3/4 year degree can qualify for ANY 50 occupation occupation under VETASSESS, the qualification assessment authority. Queensland has caught on and now requires planners to have references as well for their state sponsored visa.

    I remember coming on a working holiday in 2004 after hearing that Australia needed planners and getting a role wouldn't be difficult due to the severe shortage and PIA's inquiry in 2004. Australia did, but securing a role was not so easy for overseas workers and employers were interested, but didnt want to sponsor. Working holiday visa you are restricted to 6 months with an employer, and only the bigger international engineering firms were willing to sponsor for the right applicant. We are seeing this in recent posts on this forum and the PIA jobseekers board with people from overseas looking for work, despite what Angus Witherby on Planetizen telling everyone the door is wide open for planners in Australia, then charging $100 for his course (http://www.planetizen.com/courses/australia).

    Its funny cause the smaller firms complain about the lack of planners and they are the ones that predominately run PIA =. Why doesn't PIA just become the assessing authority and end all the nonsense? Knowing PIA they will probably make applicants be Certified Practicing Planners so they can charge them $600 plus per year for life for 3 letters that legally mean nothing to employers.or to anyone else.


    -end rant

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Woolley's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by expat123 View post
    We are seeing this in recent posts on this forum and the PIA jobseekers board with people from overseas looking for work, despite what Angus Witherby on Planetizen telling everyone the door is wide open for planners in Australia, then charging $100 for his course (http://www.planetizen.com/courses/australia).

    Its funny cause the smaller firms complain about the lack of planners and they are the ones that predominately run PIA =. Why doesn't PIA just become the assessing authority and end all the nonsense? Knowing PIA they will probably make applicants be Certified Practicing Planners so they can charge them $600 plus per year for life for 3 letters that legally mean nothing to employers.or to anyone else.


    -end rant
    Well It is good to have an overview of Planning in Australia, Planning and legislation varies from state to state council to council. I am sure you would get more out of reading the Integrated Planning Act, a few books and the Brisbane planning scheme if that is where you wanted to find work or further study

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    Add Queensland to the list as well for the dropping of urban planner from the Skills in demand list. Way to be active in promoting the planning profession PIA since your call for activism in 2004. What next the dropping of planning from universities altogether? I suppose the MODL is out of the question.

    http://www.workliveplay.qld.gov.au/d...t.cfm?id=13714

  9. #9
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    Perhaps urban planner has been removed from the lists because domestic enrolments are increasing. Although, I'm not entirely sure.

    Most skills shortages in Australia exist simply because of government neglect during the years of the Howard Government. I dare say, there are many young university graduates out there who are struggling to find work in their field because many companies can hire foreign candidates at a discount without the need for extensive training. This is starting to manifest in extraordinary youth unemployment in Australia.

    I honestly believe that talent should be sourced within Australia first and foremost, including by training young graduates and encouraging greater interest in planning. Foreign candidates should only be sponsored if a local candidate or graduate is unable to be sourced and trained.

    I have nothing against immigration but I only support carefully targeted immigration. If Australian citizens and residents can be sourced for planning then that should be a priority.

    The current situation is an absolute mess and the problems are starting to surface.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Hendy,

    The problems with immigration in Australia is that certain people obtain credentials only to not work in that occupation. Case in point the overseas TAFE students enrolled in chef and hairdressing training programs. They just get the credentials to satisfy immigration and then they do whatever they want. Just because you get PR due to your occupation doesnt mean you are ready for the Aussie workforce. Look at accounting, most of the migrants cant even speak a decent level of English. How are they gonna get jobs? Unfortunately the taxpayer will pay their centrelink benefits.

    Urban planning is different than these occupations. Communications is a necessary component of the occupation. Most overseas planners come from English speaking countries such as; NZ, Ireland, UK, USA and Canada. They are also the most up to date on issues in planning. And planning in these countries means more than processing DA's.

    Most skills shortages in Australia exist simply because of government neglect during the years of the Howard Government. I dare say, there are many young university graduates out there who are struggling to find work in their field because many companies can hire foreign candidates at a discount without the need for extensive training. This is starting to manifest in extraordinary youth unemployment in Australia.
    This may be true in some fields, but I highly doubt its the case of planning in Oz. A candidate has to prove high levels of education, experience before get any work visa besides a working holiday. I highly doubt migrants from developed countries (which are most planners) would work for crap wages. This is true in the architecture/LA fields where an employer could hire a foreign uni student for the 42k mim for the 457 visa. Most of the firms around Sydney that have done this are no longer in business, Im sure anyone who knows the field will know the employers I am referring to.

    I honestly believe that talent should be sourced within Australia first and foremost, including by training young graduates and encouraging greater interest in planning. Foreign candidates should only be sponsored if a local candidate or graduate is unable to be sourced and trained.
    Agreed. But when your top planners go overseas cause they dont want to process or apply DA's (most Aussie planning work) all day what do you do? Look how many job openings there are in rural Victoria, WA councils ,etc. Its a real problem. Why would Aussies work for these minimal salaries when they can get into a different field and make heaps more? The fact of the matter is you have a surplus of planners in other developed countries that speak English that could easily adapt to the Aussie workforce. PIA and the LGA whinges about planner shortages when the solution is obvious.

    We work in an age of globalisation and one has to realise that a workforce must adapt to current trends. The fact of the matter is the federal government recognizes there is a planning shortage as noted in the immigration discussion papers, but doesnt view PIA as a suitable assessing authority. After the economic downturn in late 2008, the immigration minister met with state officials to see their needs. Planner made the critical skills list, while other occupations were let go. This was after several firms and local government positions were let go. Every other occupation in Oz has an assessing authority and can determine whether one is a qualified planner. PIA is trying to implement the "CPP" program, but its laughable cause other occupations are tied in with local legislation such as lawyer, accountant, etc. Anyone can call themselves an "urban planner" and paying $500 a year to PIA makes no difference whatsoever. Why would anyone sign up for CPP when the federal government doesnt even recognize PIA as a suitable assessing authority. The hypocrisy kills me.

    I know your just a Uni student Hendy, but when things pick up in Oz (as it will in the next couple of years) you will be experiencing the planner shortage first hand. Whether its working in local government trying to process an infinite amount of DAs, or working working for a consultant and trying to meet with the only town planner available in 5 months for a rural council. Just ask anyone on here how stressful this occupation can be when there is a "lack" of qualified workers. Or just look at the 2004 PIA report for yourself about why people were leaving the planning profession.

  11. #11
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    Thanks Expat.

    Being a Melburnian and witnessing the mass scale of dodgy migration taking place there I do have some issues but after reading your response I appreciate the scale of the planner shortage.

    I already have an undergraduate degree but have decided on planning as my career and as such I have chosen to undertake postgraduate study to achieve my goal. I must say that scoping the available options in postgraduate study has been a most difficult task. This is so because there is no sure way to determine the ranking of various course offerings, there is also no reliable source of salary information. Overall, there is a distinct shortage of valuable information for anyone considering planning as a career. Most available information is subjective and biased. Making a decision on where to study was extremely difficult.

    In my opinion the PIA is a ramshackle 'organisation'. I am naturally concerned about obtaining employment upon graduation, even though there is a shortage of planners throughout the country. Being a Melburnian I have decided to relocate interstate to undertake study because the course offerings in Melbourne are quite ordinary and average salaries in Melbourne, from what I can tell, are far below interstate equivalents. I also think in 5-10years Melbourne's supposed liveability will be diminished because the Victorian Government is hell bent on building more freeways rather than expanding public transport with the expansion of the metro area.

    From your response and from my own investigations there appears to be a lack of a comprehensive response to even attempt to alleviate the planner shortage in Aus. This comes at a time when Australia's population is rapidly increasing, cities are bursting at the seams etc. It certainly will be interesting to see how things work out.

    Hendy

  12. #12
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    Thanks Expat,

    I did write a lengthy response but it vanished when trying to post it.

    One thing I have noticed is a distinct lack of comprehensive information regarding the profession. The PIA is a ramshackle operation. I had a very difficult time deciding on where to study and still I am concerned as to whether I will gain employment when I graduate. I already have an undergrad degree I just decided to pursue my passion for planning by undertaking postgrad study.

    Being a Melburnian I decided to move interstate because the course offerings there are few and salaries, from what I can tell, are substantially lower than interstate equivalents.

    I must say, it has been very, very hard to find reliable information, simple things such as salary surveys, course rankings, etc.

    On the immigration front, I'm all for it if it alleviates the shortage but I also think a comprehensive response to the shortage is needed by increasing funding for planning courses and even encouraging people to enter the field.

    Hendy

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