Australia Still Wants Chefs and Cooks

May 28, 2010

Highly qualified chefs and cooks would continue to be welcome in Australia under a range of migration options, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, said today.

"The removal of the classifications for chefs and cooks from the Skilled Occupation List will not affect the ability of restauranteurs to bring in qualified staff to meet demand in the industry," Senator Evans said.

"We have reformed the skilled migration system to allow employers to target the skills they need in their businesses. Employers can nominate chefs and cooks on 457 visas, employer-sponsored visas and the new State migration plans."

Senator Evans said employers were already using the system to recruit qualified staff with almost 1000 cooks and chefs being granted employer-sponsored visas to April 30 in 2009-10. This is a significant increase on the 420 sponsored by employers in 2007-08.

"The changes we have introduced will ensure that only those who have real jobs to go to in the industry will be granted visas."

Senator Evans said the Government was determined to create a demand-driven migration program which meets the needs of the economy and employers.

As of 31 March this year, there were 3210 cooks and chefs working in Australia on employer-nominated 457 visas.

State and territories can also nominate occupations such as cooks and chefs for inclusion in their individual migration plans.

"The Government has steamlined the processing arrangements for the employer and state-sponsored visa programs to make it easier and quicker for employers to recruit workers from overseas," Senator Evans said.