继2016年12月澳洲媒体炒作会计，精算，土地经济学家及大批工程师等 52 个职业可能从2017年 SOL 清单里剔除后，2017年元旦，媒体又放风说工程类毕业生在澳洲很难找到工作，工程师职业从 2012-2013 年就不再紧缺了，另外从最近 SkillSelect EOI 邀请情况看，工程师职业邀请人数在降低，相应的邀请分数在上升。
Department of Employment figures show there have been no skill shortages in engineering since 2012-13, yet engineers are still listed on its skilled occupations list which is used to identify skills shortages that overseas workers can fill.
Professionals Australia is now calling on the federal government to “put Australians first” by removing engineers from the skilled occupations list.
“If the labour market reality is there is no shortage of skilled engineers it is logical that you would take them off the skilled occupations list,” Professionals Australia chief executive Chris Walton said.
"Engineering job vacancies are at an all-time low, yet, in 2015/16, record numbers of skilled engineers migrated to Australia.
“That’s not fair to Australian graduate engineers who study for four years at significant expense and then struggle to find a job.”
Engineers Australia, which represents more than 100,000 engineers in Australia, supports keeping engineers on the skilled occupations list.
Its 2015-16 Consolidated Financial Report shows it earned $8.8 million last financial year from the migration skills assessments it conducts for the federal Department of Immigration.
“We hope that role, which now represents 18 per cent of their revenue, isn’t affecting their advocacy on behalf of the profession,” Mr Walton said.
"It is certainly making it difficult for us to get a common sense decision of getting engineers off the skilled occupations list when Engineers Australia is arguing they stay on.
“There is undoubtedly a conflict here and we say the government should recognise that conflict when it is listening to advice.”
Engineers Australia said it took a long-term view and expected a skills shortage in engineering would again emerge as part of a historical boom and bust cycle in the labour market.
“Engineering has a highly cyclical employment market, and long-term migration is a method of moderating this boom/bust cycle,” chief executive Stephen Durkin said.
Mr Durkin said the migration skills assessment service was provided on a not-for-profit basis.
“As Engineers Australia provides this service at cost, we don’t face any of the vested interests that a union might in any move to artificially constrain the labour market,” he said.
"In the face of static and very slowly growing domestic engineering graduations over recent decades, maintaining a long-term pipeline of skilled migrants is critical if Australia wants a sustainable domestic engineering workforce.
“As official data clearly show, the engineering employment market is again on the rise. If the kind of short-term thinking that Professionals Australia is advocating occurs then we’ll return to the days of acute skills shortages, cost blowouts and undeliverable infrastructure projects.”
Mr Durkin said Professionals Australia, as a union, had an interest in forcing a skills shortage to reduce supply, drive up costs and artificially inflate wages.
A spokeswoman for the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said he had ordered a review of the Consolidated Sponsored Occupational List and it was “currently being looked at”.
The government said it wanted to strengthen Australia’s skilled migration program to ensure “overseas workers supplement rather than provide a substitute for Australian workers”.
Mr Dutton said the review would ensure that “Australian workers have priority”.