DOs removed from skills priority list in Australia

June 10, 2024 Staff reporters


After just one year on Australia’s 2023 Skills Priority List, the dispensing optician (DO) role has been removed resulting in an unsuccessful appeal by the Australasian College of Dispensing Opticians (ACOD).


The decision to remove it was based on Jobs and Skills Australia’s (JSA’s) employer survey and modelling, which indicated the likelihood of filling vacant DO roles had improved noticeably in 2023 compared to 2022, said the JSA, adding industry feedback confirmed this.


ACOD director James Gibbins said no one he’s spoken to in the industry was even aware of a survey taking place and that JSA’s reasons for removing DOs from the list were “unsubstantiated and baseless”.


Further challenging budding DOs and their employers is the repeal of the popular Australian traineeship incentives available through the Covid/post-Covid period, said Gibbins, adding ACOD will, “continue to pursue every possible subsidy and support available in every state and territory for optical dispensing training”.


In New Zealand, DO is a tier 1 role on the Green list (formerly known as the Skills Shortage List), eligible for a straight-to-residence pathway, provided the applicant is working for an accredited employer or has a job offer from one, is paid at least the median wage or above and is registered with the Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board of New Zealand.