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457 Visa debate heats up

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HC Online | 02 Jul 2013, 12:00 AM Agree 0
With the migration bill passing the House of Representatives, the debate over its merits intensifies.
  • Angela Brown | 02 Jul 2013, 02:58 PM Agree 0
    We have enough people to train and fill the cap of shortages, too many business are using overseas student, too pay them below the poverty line and they don't have to paid for tax and superannuation enough is "enough " used Aussie and train Aussie for jobs
  • SHGM | 02 Jul 2013, 04:09 PM Agree 0
    The 457 visa regime is for skilled workers only. It is NOT a vehicle for employing students. Users of the system are required to participate in training of Australians. The subclass 457 visa regime is demand driven, in that there must be an identified role to be filled, is therefore does therefore not contribute to unemployment. The regime has existing safeguards that require visa holders to be paid the "market salary rate". Where this is not done, there is existing legislation to sanction non-compliance by employers.
    Many of the proposed changes will not impact upon employers complying with the spirit of the legislation and will clarify some existing uncertainties in the legislation. However, the introduction of labour market testing for lower skilled occupations will frustrate the intention of the scheme to enable employers to quickly fill an identified labour shortage. The reintroduction of a fixed number of applications by sponsors will create an impossible impediment to employers who will now be required to speculate about the their future labour demands and anticipated skills shortages three to six years into the future.
    The changes are not all bad, but the bad elements demonstrate a lack of understanding of the design and intention of the visa category to allow skills shortages to be quickly filled. A review and rethink of some of the changes is necessary for the subclass 457 visa regime to continue to function as designed.
  • TommyW | 02 Jul 2013, 04:12 PM Agree 0
    Think that Angela's comments point to the potential shortages of skills in Australia - spelling and grammar being the main culprits!

    In all seriousness though, obviously the current system has it's flaws, but is there much point in slightly altering a bill that will ultimately have no profound affect once loopholes are exploited again? - Australia needs to address the cause of the problem, that there are not enough Australians learning the skills needed to plug the gap being filled by skilled migrants. Until that changes, Australia will depend upon migrants to fill those highly-skilled and in-demand roles, you cannot expect employers to take the hit on a sub-standard workforce for no reason other than patriotism, this is business.
  • Shane Quigley | 02 Jul 2013, 04:25 PM Agree 0
    Angela - What a massive sweeping statement. In fast moving industries like Tech, Australia would be like a 3rd world country by the time people had completed training.
  • Angela Brown | 02 Jul 2013, 05:07 PM Agree 0
    Thanking u Tommy W for addressing the spelling and grammar in my statement. I knew there is a too many business out there paying cash in hand to migrates whom shouldn't be working at all. This country gives so many migrates from shelter,food, and brnefits, but forget about others people who ha e a learning disabilities and what a job to be interesting achieving and other disadvantage people who want real jobs
  • Angela Brown | 02 Jul 2013, 05:37 PM Agree 0
    Government spend money on sports but not enough on education. We have too many people living on the dole . People should be retrained and re employed to service that we have jobs short fall
  • TommyW | 02 Jul 2013, 05:42 PM Agree 0
    Angela I completely understand frustrations of those who are searching for new jobs, however, the jobs covered by the 457 Skilled Migrant Visa are those that are in high demand and highly skilled such as IT where training and education will need to be addressed at a young age and not anything that can be learned overnight. These are not positions that migrants are just walking into because they are cheap, in actual fact it can sometimes be quite the opposite as there is a minimum salary level required to be eligible for such a Visa.

    The issues you are talking of, with cash-in-hand jobs to migrants etc. will continue to be illegal, and therefore no changes in law will make a change to this situation as it is already not allowed!
  • Angela Brown | 02 Jul 2013, 05:48 PM Agree 0
    Yes I do agree with your statement, but we must make sure the migrates are genuine for jobs suitability.
  • TommyW | 02 Jul 2013, 05:49 PM Agree 0
    And yes, the Government do spend a lot of money on Sports, understandably, given the money it can generate for an economy as we have seen form the recent Lions tour and will see during the upcoming Ashes. Unfortunately it is not as simple as 'spend more on education, less on sports' as there are other reasons that have lead to the shortfall in skills such as:
    - New technologies being introduced from overseas that nobody in Australia is trained on.
    - A lack of motivation in young Australians to commit to learning some of these skills - as we have seen in IT (although this trend is changing now)

    Further to this, the amount of people 'on the dole', is not directly linked to the skills shortage debacle, in actual fact the rates of unemployment in Australia are much lower than in most developed countries. And again, it is not that simple to simply 're-train' the unemployed to take these highly skilled positions.
  • Josie | 03 Jul 2013, 01:31 AM Agree 0
    I am on a 457. I came over from the UK on a working holiday and was fortunate enough to get sponsored on a 457. I love Australia, I pay tax and perform in my job to a very high standard. I do not understand why it has never been mentioned in any press articles that in order to have a 457 visa it is required that you work in a skilled area the Department of Immigration has determined as being a skills gap. Therefore how can people say give the jobs to Australians first when its already been determined by Goverment as needing assistance from the global market. I can not foresee that any employer would take on anyone with a 457 with all the social pressue of giving jobs to Aussies as well as the hoops they must jump through for hiring someone on a 457. I understand keeping jobs in Australia and to local workers as we have the same thing in the UK but as I am in Australia working so is another young Australian professional in the UK. I think the focus of the amendment was all wrong. I completely agree people should not be exploited and paid the wrong amount of money but i believe the market should be tested up front and monitored strictly and not put on as a burden to business. its then about transfering the skills from the gloal workforce coming to Australia as well as investing in education. Also, what happened to the basic recruitment principle of hiring the best person for the job based on skills and experience, surely this will ultimately benefit an organisation and therefore the Australian economy. In my opinion part of me thinks this was a very crafty political play by labour purely pushed through very quickly in order to assist Rudd in the polls and drum up a lot of attention to the essence of the labour part ... and that is unionism and the faceless men behind it.
  • MM | 03 Jul 2013, 04:41 PM Agree 0
    I totally understand the need for employers to hire someone with skills not currently available in the Australian market on a short term basis.

    I also think that most employers would "employ Australians first" if those with the needed skills were available here.

    BUT as employers only ever want to employ experienced workers and are rarely willing to go to the expense of training employees to fill those needs (even internally), then there is a real need for the tightening of the training criteria for 457 visa sponsors.

    If employers can constantly "get away with" not assisting to skill up the Australian workforce as part of their obligation when hiring short term 457 visa holders, then there will never be any "Australians" to employ first.
  • James Scott | 08 Jul 2013, 06:14 PM Agree 0
    It is clear that these 'reforms' are nothing but a vote-grab for the Labour party - specifically drafted and pushed for by the Unions. The unfortunate reality of the Union push is that to participate in the global economy there are fundamental factors that drive successful businesses – competition and access to skilled and experienced workers. This is not about wages, we are among the highest in the world, which puts us up there among countries with the highest cost of living. Training is not the issue here – there are plenty of employers trying to compete for Apprentices that will get more money stacking shelves at Coles than undertaking a trade. This 457 issue has descended in to a xenophobic attack driven by fear from a Union movement facing loss of relevance through declining member numbers (from 43% of males and 35% of females in 1992, to 18% today for both groups) and loss of credibility and standing within the community. While many appreciate what the movement has done in years past, it is time to wake up and see that these reforms are threatening to further choke business in this country and force them to close down and/or move off-shore.
  • Anonymous | 09 Jul 2013, 03:18 PM Agree 0
    I wonder if those who have not worked in a role where they've had to hire would change their minds if they were in that position. Once you start to interview candidates you'll find that there is absolutely a shortage of not only qualified Australian citizens for certain sectors but also the work ethic to keep up with the world and the field.
    I'm currently recruiting for multiple positions and I don't see floods of applications coming through. That would tell me that times aren't as tough as the news makes out to be.
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