Master Electricians Australia (MEA) secures confirmation from Minister

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3 July 2015

On Wednesday, July 1 MEA released an e-Alert concerning the streamlining of 457 visa processes for electrical occupations as part of the China-Australia Fair Trade Agreement. MEA has been successful with its inquiries to the Minister for Trade Andrew Robb, who has confirmed that yesterday’s interpretation and analysis of the 457 visa process for overseas trained electricians is correct.  

Department of Education and Training, Ms. Melissa McEwen has today confirmed;

“Any overseas trained electrician wishing to work in Australia, regardless of their visa type, is still required to meet the licensing eligibility requirements in the state or territory where they are planning to work.” Ms. McEwen said.

MEA is satisfied that the changes as detailed in Minister Robb’s correspondence to the Chinese representative in no way alter the current state regulatory requirements or processes for obtaining an electrical license from an overseas country. Again, the changes made will only affect the process for a 457 visa application.  

It is clear to MEA after examining the relevant legislation that the two issues of 457 visas and Electrical Licensing are distinct in their own right and that changes proposed for 457 visas will not affect the current electrical licensing requirements. 

Certainly, if a State Government in the future decided to change their electrical licensing criteria  for overseas applicants then these changes would have to be reviewed to ensure there were no unintended consequences. As with any change, MEA would insist on being part of that process of review.

MEA will continue to monitor the situation, however we do not see that these changes pose a risk to the licensing skills or competencies required to be a licensed electrician in Australia. MEA continues to be committed to electrical safety standards and will continue to update you on any developments on this issue as they arise.