Australian Business Groups demand 457 Visa reforms
The 457 work visa is regarded as extremely useful by Australian businesses; however, there are people who do not like the scheme. Many people in Australia hold the view that the programme takes jobs away from Australians and gives them to immigrants who work for much lower salaries. Those people will not like the recent letter penned by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who wants to decrease the market testing limitations which are attached to the 457 visas.
The whole point of market testing is to prevent jobs from being taken away from Australians. The business groups argue that the whole reason for market testing is a lie. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) alleges that the limitations actually end up hurting the local economy. The basic idea which they dispute is that they will hire foreigners over the locals. The main reason that the ACCI is disputing the requirements of the 457 visa is that the programme is used by companies to fulfil positions for which they do not find suitable local candidates.
The market testing aspect of the visa limits employers from hiring people below the average salary rates from other countries. Basically, if the market rate of a job is 20 dollars an hour, then a company cannot sponsor someone’s immigration and have them work at 10 dollars an hour. This is a great idea in principle and it makes sense, but the problem is that the figure does not take geographical differences into account.
Different limits for different areas
One proposal by the ACCI which is very reasonable is that the salary below which people cannot be hired should be based on the locality as well. The main metropolitan cities of Australia have a much higher cost of living than some of the other cities. When companies hire employees in bigger cities, they pay more, since the market rate is high due to the cost of living. The opposite is true for other, smaller cities. Those cities are the ones which are hurt the worst by these limits, as they can often not hire foreigners without paying them a much higher salary then they would have to pay someone already in Australia.
Understanding Skilled Immigration
One aspect which is often not understood by many locals is that skilled immigration is based on the needs of Australia. In the year 2015, for example, there was no need for auditors to be hired from other countries because the demand for auditors was met with local residents. Thus, there were very few visas available for auditors. The Skilled Occupation List outlines which skills are required in Australia; the openings are usually for specific degrees and qualifications for which there is a need in this country.
Basically, the 457 scheme is already designed to fulfil the positions which local residents cannot, because there aren’t enough skilled people or because there are just too many jobs available. Thus, the jobs are not being taken away from the locals. Some people may dispute it however, as we have heard anecdotes from people about how they were fired and someone from another country was hired in this place. Have you heard of such a case? If you have then do share the information with us in the comments.
Source: Migration Alliance