Quite an interesting read for those of you who need to take the well know IELTS exam as part of your Australian Immigration application process.

According to an article posted on the Guardians website, the Australian government is seriously considering rival exams such as the ‘Toefl‘ examination as an alternative to IELTS.

The news came to light following a quote from an immigration and citizenship department spokesman which said that the minister in charge, Chris Evans, had written to ETS, the US company that produces Toefl, and other test providers to tell them of “his in-principal support for the acceptance of more than one English language test under the migration regulations”.

“We’re very hopeful. There’s really no objective reason why Toefl could not be confidently used in the Australian [immigration] context,”

Eileen Tyson, an ETS representative in Australia said.

In 2008 immigration officials launched a review of the Ielts monopoly by inviting other test providers to make their case for recognition.

Last month Evans also revealed a new, scaled-down list of occupations that will be accepted under the skilled migration programme, a major route to settlement for foreign nationals. The number of eligible jobs has been reduced as part of a move by the government to match workers to higher-skilled and in-demand employment.

The new Skilled Occupation List has been compiled by Skills Australia, an independent body established by the government to assess workforce needs.

“This list is designed to target occupations of longer-term economic value and will deliver highly skilled migrants while breaking the nexus between permanent residency and low-value education courses,” Evans said