A possie in Aussie

March 17, 2009

Cut the numbers, slice and dice the migrant workers

Filed under: 457 visas,Immigrant workers — Nayano @ 5:49 pm
Tags: , ,

Bob Birrell, from Monash University’s Centre for Population and Urban Research, claims that more jobs could be preserved if the Rudd Government introduced a local labour test before allowing employers to sponsor migrant workers in permanent jobs. There is at present no need for an employer to establish that no one in the domestic labour market is available.

Australian National University demographer Peter McDonald says:

“A 14 per cent reduction in the current economic climate is understandable and manageable, but the Government needs to bear in mind the importance of migration to meet long-term skilled labour demand, particularly when the country starts to pull out of its financial difficulties”.

Australian Industry Group chief executive Heather Ridout, who is one of Kevin Rudd’s closest allies, says now is not the time to cut back.

ACTU president Sharan Burrow thinks the decision to cut the quota is prudent, given the economic conditions.

“It’s a chance to get the balance right to make sure that there is optimism to be able to get a job, earn a living wage for migrant workers,” she says.

Perth builder Gerry Hanssen says his 457 workers helped his business through the boom and that one of his welders who came to Perth from The Philippines three years ago “is worth 10 other workers”. Delicate jobs balance in tough times

Working visas are being reduced in numbers, but as Andrew at the Bewildered Herd points out, the cuts only apply to permanent working visas. Andrew says:

“It appears that the Government is cutting one type of migration (permanent), while letting another continue to operate at record levels (temporary/457 visas). The reason for this appears to be somewhat political. In the case of permanent migration, the Government is playing to the age-old fear of foreigners when unemployment rises.

“While the government is cutting permanent migration, it is continuing to allow employers to exploit temporary migrants (who are themselves fearing job losses) and confuse the Australian public as to the operation of the 457 visa program” A Cut to¬†Immigration


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