Government to abolish 457 working visas

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced the Coalition Government will replace skilled 457 visas

Government to abolish 457 working visas
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced the Coalition Government will replace skilled 457 visas with a new category to give Australians top priority for jobs.

Turnbull made the announcement on Facebook, saying he said would “put jobs first” and “Australians first”.

The four-year visas for skilled migrants would be replaced with a new temporary visa with added requirements, including work experience and better English-language skills.

“Australians must have priority for Australian jobs – so we’re abolishing the [class] 457 visas, the visas that bring temporary foreign workers into our country,” he said.

“We will no longer let 457 visas be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians.”

He added that it’s important that organisations still get access to the skills they need to grow and invest.

“So the 457 visa will be replaced by a new temporary visa specifically designed to recruit the best and the brightest in the national interest,” he said.

Turnbull said the new visa would “better target genuine skills shortages”. Moreover, it would feature new requirements such as previous work experience, better English language proficiency and labour market testing.

He also said the government would establish a new training fund for Australians to fill skills gaps.

“Our reforms will have a simple focus: Australian jobs, and Australian values.”

The number of 457 visa holders has dropped to about 45,000 in the past year, well below its peak of over 100,000 issued annually under the former Labor Government.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten promised last week that Labor would "crack down on dodgy" 457 visas if they were in government.


 

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