A Nasty Shock for Sparkies

News about Trade Skills Assessment for licensed occupations this week has indicated a significant price hike by the Australian Government.

Licensed tradespeople fall under three occupations in Australia:

  • Electrician
  • Plumber
  • Air conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic.

People with these occupations, who are from certain countries, must undertake a multiple-stage Skills Assessment Process,  called an OSAP (Offshore Skills Assessment Program)  aimed at ensuring they can meet the same standards as an Australian trained technician, in order to qualify for a Skilled Visa.

Until recently, the OSAP process was that the Licensed Trades people undertook a skills assessment which involved a Document Review (at a cost of around $1080); and a Practical Assessment (around $2200).  The Skills Assessment may be conducted by a range of approved Registered Training Organisations, including Australian Construction Training Services (ACTS); Vetassess and Victoria  University, among others.

From the 1st March 2019, there has been a fundamental change in the OSAP skills assessment process – and costs – for licensed tradespeople.

Now, they will have to pay for three distinct phases – a Document Review ($1280); followed by a Technical Interview ($2000) and then a Practical Assessment  ($2200) – bringing the total cost to $5480.

On top of the gap training that licensed tradies need to complete in order to obtain an unrestricted Australian license to practice their trade, it’s a big whack of money.

Vetassess has indicated that they will facilitate the Technical Interview and Practical Assessment together, to minimise inconvenience to the client.  However, the fees are legislated by the Government, and payable to Trades Recognition Australia.

There’s more news too – since Trade Recognition Australia has to sign off on the skills assessment, the RTO must send results back to TRA – and the applicant needs to wait for the official signoff by TRA.    It could cause an additional time delay.

People who lodged their Stage 1 and Stage 2 assessments before the 1st March 2019, will be UNAFFECTED by the change.  But if you’ve yet to lodge; or you’ve only lodged Stage 1, expect to pay more for completion of the skills assessment.

Leanne Stevens

CEO, Emergico // Registered Migration Agent (#1171279)