The temporary skilled work subclass 457 programme will be reformed in response to the changing needs of the Australian economy and domestic employment market, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship has announced.
Brendan O’Connor said that the 457 programme plays a vital role in ensuring that Australian businesses are able to source the skilled workers they need where they are unable to find suitably skilled labour in the domestic employment market. Under the changes employers must demonstrate that they are not nominating positions where a genuine shortage does not exist and the enforceability of existing training requirements for businesses that use the programme will be strengthened.
The English language requirements for certain positions are being raised, the market salary exemption will rise from $180,000 to $250,000 and on hire arrangements of 457 visa workers will be restricted. Also compliance and enforcement powers will be beefed up to stop employers who have routinely abused the 457 system and stakeholders will be consulted to ensure market rate provisions more effectively protect local employment.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor