Matthew Adam Halliday, MARN 0701626
The Assistant Minister for Immigration last week defended the Coalition government's track record in regards to Australia's skilled migration program rejecting attempts by the Labour party and unions to categorise the actions of the Coalition government as not affording priority to Australian workers.
In an attempt to attack these claims which she described as fiction, Assistant Minister Cash pointed out the following facts in regards to Australia's 457 visa program:
- Less than 1 percent of workers in Australia are on subclass 457 visas. As such, it is impossible to claim that the national labour market is being flooded by 457 visa holders.
- Workers on 457 visas are not a low cost option and employers actually incur more costs than hiring a local worker. These extra costs act as a disincentive.
- 457 Visa holders do not undercut Australian worker market rates and conditions as the salary nominated must not only be above the Temporary Skilled Migration Threshold of $53,900 per annum but also must be at market rates.
- There were 107 570 primary 457 visa holders as of 31 July 2014 in Australia . This represents a decrease since 30 September 2013 which was 12 days after the Coalition took office. At that time the number was 110 280 primary visa holder.
She also pointed out that businesses that are forced to close due to being unable to access labour employ no one and a sensible, measured and reasoned debate needs to be pursued in regards to skilled migration.
As agents, we have experienced little to suggest that the Coalition has eased the requirements for companies wishing to sponsor 457 compared to the requirements that were in place during the Labour government. We will be interested in seeing the results of the subclass 457 review which should be published shortly.
Should you require assistance in applying for a 457 visa or gaining sponsorship approval for your company, please feel free to contact us for a consultation.