Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard won’t change arrangements for New Zealanders moving to Australia, despite her concerns about overseas workers taking jobs Australians can do.
She says some companies were rorting Australia’s “457” temporary visa system for foreign workers – supporting the call by certain unions for more involvement by local workers and suppliers in Australian projects and businesses.
When asked on talkback radio on Wednesday whether changes to arrangements for people entering Australia via New Zealand would be changed, Ms Gillard said no and moved the conversation on to 457s.
“My focus has been on 457s because this is the area where there have been real concerns, for good reasons, that temporary overseas workers are being brought in and taking jobs where there were Australians ready, willing and able to do it,” Ms Gillard told ABC radio.
Applications for temporary skilled, 457 visas for the mining sector had gone down, she said, but there had been a big surge for the information technology, hospitality and retail sectors.
There were clear signs the system was being rorted, Ms Gillard said.
“People have been brought in for jobs that are described as high skilled jobs, only to find they’re working as security guards or employment has been transferred to another employer and they’re in a very mainstream job where there would have been Australians available to do that job,” Ms Gillard said.
As at September 30, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship reported there were 175,580 people on 457 visas in Australia, a 25 per cent increase from the previous year.
Over the same period the number of New Zealanders on temporary special category visas increased eight per cent to 644,710.
Courtesy of AAP and MSN NZ
It will probably only be a matter of time that the bi-lateral arrangements come under scrutiny. However the Government has got 457 visas fairly in its sights.
It has at the same time as attacking the 457 program for ‘taking jobs of Australians’ (similar to another red-headed ‘politician’), work rights of graduating tertiary degree holders (up to 4 years for doctorate level), have been relaxed ! (See Latest news posts).
The existence of these overseas graduates in the local job market will definitely deprive home-grown graduates of employment opportunities, but the new immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor doesn’t appear to believe this will be the case ! Apparently its all about making Australia appear more attractive for foreign students!
And we wonder why local students go off-shore? Very short-termed thinking and will lead to further skilled shortgages