Significant changes have been made to the 457 Visa program, and the resources industry has said the revisions will means increased efficiencies in the way skilled migrants are sponsored.
Resource industry employer group, AMMA, said the changes will allow for faster processing times of skilled migrants by no longer having to include sponsored skilled migrants in Fair Work Australia collective agreements. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has announced the changes will be effective from today.
Geoff Bull, AMMA migration services director, said the announcement is welcome news to employers in every Australian sector, and the changes will see the sponsored migration program become an invaluable tool for easing the skills shortage, especially in the resources sectore.
Bull said the increase in resource projects over the next few years will mean skilled migrants will play an essential role in allowing Australia to realise the full economic potential of the industry.
Employers will be able to more efficiently source overseas professionals to fill the number of highly-skilled roles that cannot be met with local demand.
However, Bull said the resource industry doesn’t view skilled migrants as a long-term alternative to Australian workers.
According to the AMMA, industry stakeholders and various governments are working to implement training and policy initiatives to build the long-term sustainability of Australia’s resources workforce, and Bull added, “Employers now have more effective short-term solutions until this can be achieved.”