DCA has provided a submission on the review of the skills assessment process for workers seeking entry into Australia. DCA supports all seven draft principles and standards for Skilled Migration Assessing Authorities shared on the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations website. In particular, DCA’s comments and recommendations relate to removing unnecessary barriers for applicants, ensuring communications are clear and accessible for all applicants and reducing bias and discrimination in the assessment process.
In summary, DCA recommends:
1.DCA recommends that the Department consider using language that more accurately reflects the experiences of culturally and racially marginalised people in relevant publications and communications relating to skilled migration assessment.
2. DCA recommends that lived experience is prioritised in skills assessment processes and that a diverse range of communication channels, user-friendly platforms and simple language is used throughout the process.
3. DCA recommends the conduct of accessibility audits for all information and promotional materials designed for applicants.
4. DCA supports transparency in setting fees and inclusions, and strategies that will reduce barriers for skilled migrants.
5. DCA supports the development of evidence-based standards that are fair and equitable and that reduce inconsistencies and risk of confusion for migrants.
6. DCA recommends a focus on building a high level of racial literacy and understanding of inclusive recruitment in assessment authorities to ensure fair and equitable assessments.
7. DCA recommends that assessment authorities adopt an intersectional lens when considering applications to better understand the migrant experience.
8. DCA supports measures to reduce duplication and minimise unnecessary delays and bottlenecks.
9. DCA recommends that post-assessment assistance consider the whole employment journey and the applicant’s experience of racism in all its forms, both overt and subtle.
10. DCA supports standards that require authorities to provide government with quality data on caseloads, trends and outcomes, to improve government policy solutions to better meet the needs of migrants and employers.