A possie in Aussie

August 3, 2009

Chinese slave labour in Australia

Filed under: 457,457 visas,Immigrant workers,PR — Nayano @ 8:05 am
Tags: , ,

Chinese migrant workers employed by Perth construction firm Kentwood on 457 visas were paid less than $3 an hour. They sometimes worked 11 hours a day, seven days a week. Chinese migrants work in ‘slave labour’ conditions

The individual amounts paid ranged from $7502 to $12,405 for between 9 and 14 months’ work.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has initiated legal proceedings against Kentwood and company director Jian Yang Zhang, of Dianella, claiming he was the mastermind behind the underpayments.

Soon after the Fair Work Ombudsman contacted Kentwood, three of the workers were asked to enter Mr Zhang’s vehicle separately and sign a statement that they had worked no more than 40 hours a week. They refused.

The workers paid up to $2500 each to agents of Mr Zhang to secure jobs with Kentwood and have their 457 visas arranged. Cheap migrant workers vs greedy capitalists: no contest

The five were put to work on construction projects in Perth, a Chinese garden of remembrance in Kalgoorlie and a Chinese temple at the Springvale Cemetery in Melbourne.

Workers on 457 visas are real people, not just a line on a balance sheet


August 1, 2009

Rapacious agents chase international students

Migration agents mobbed international students as they left a meeting about the closure of their Sydney college, making offers to find them better deals overseas, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The Herald quotes a community welfare student, Sandeep Kaur, who said she was annoyed consultants were trying to offer a better deal on an education in Canada.

‘‘Everybody’s here to make money. Nothing for us, no emotions, nothing,’’ she said. ‘‘That’s our business, take this and come to us.’’

David Barrow, the president of the National Union of Students, said greater regulatory protection for international students was needed.

‘‘This country has been treating international students like cash cows,’’ he said.

‘‘Everywhere you go where there’s international students, there’s people trying to take advantage of them.’’ Students offered sterling deals in Canada

Andrew Bartlett blogs at Crikey that

There are now reports that the education sector is trying to crack down on so-called ‘rogue education agents’.  It’s hard to see how that achieves anything more than window dressing.  The previous government specifically exempted education agents from the regulatory requirements which currently apply to migration agents. 

This has left these agents completely outside existing controls, beyond the normal laws regarding fraud and the like.  The Migration Agents Registration Authority, which polices the conduct of migration agents, can’t touch education agents.  Nor can they touch those who falsely claim to be migration agents, or those operating offshore who provide misleading advice.  The International Student mess

Larvatus Prodeo comments on Andrew’s article:

“I hope the government is careful in how it reforms the rules surrounding Australian study and immigration. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the current rules for gaining permanent residency, a lot of students have enrolled in courses on that basis; kicking the ground from under them now is not only going to hurt a lot of students, it might further damage Australia’s international reputation.

But reform is necessary.” The international student mess

July 30, 2009

Immigration Minister signals change to permanent residency for students

Immigration Minister Chris Evans has said that there was “no automatic link” between study in Australia and access to permanent residency, the Australian reported yesterday. Immigration link in doubt

“The Australian government will adjust the (migration) program to meet our national needs and not be driven by the education choices of overseas students,” Evans said in a speech in New Delhi.

The Australian takes this as an indication that the link between study in Australia and permanent residency, introduced by the Howard government, may be decoupled.

It is the hope of permanent residency that has meant that overseas students are taking any courses in skills that the government has signalled as needed in the job market, and in turn this has led to some shonky ‘training’ courses and various forms of cheating obtain qualifications at any cost. Holy cash cows tell of rorts of foreign students

An article in today’s Australian warns of negative consequences if Evans goes ahead:

“… it’s an idea already causing tensions in education circles: our export education industry is bolstered by the carrot of the right of abode, and colleges could collapse from lack of students if they have to recruit on course offerings alone. The problem also affects universities: they may not blatantly advertise the migration bonus of their courses but earning points plays a part in enrolment decisions.” Aspiring immigrants

Yet another Australian article reports that the Indian student market is already collapsing, with

“…the recruitment body IDP Education Australia reporting an 80 per cent fall in appointments by students at its 14 Indian offices.”

The fall is attributed to fall-out from a spate of assaults on Indian students and revelations that students are being exploited by unscrupulous private colleges and fraudulent agents. Indian student market collapsing

July 29, 2009

Indian women liberated by passing English test

The blogger at Faint Voice tells us that there is ‘a quiet revolution in the status of women in deep rural, backward caste and poor Punjab. Girls who in past were not sent to school would now look forward to getting preference over boys in being sent to school, given time off to house work to study and even in getting precedence in meal times.’

And Australia can take credit!

No, not another aid program – this time it is the IELTS (International English Language Test System) that is transforming lives of these women.

“While before the IELTS became the goal the lives of these girls was quite one of being second class citizens to the boys in the family.”

A good level of English as tested by the IELTS is the key to almost every Australian visa (except humanitarian and family visas).

And once you have a work or study visa, you are on the path to the prize of Permanent Residency.

Faint Voice says “the goal of citizenship pushes the youth out of rural India, at least in Punjab and Haryana, and they have been very enthusiastic in making it to Canada and UK. Australia is only recently emerging as a favourite”.

What has changed in the case of Australia is the vigorousness with which Australia has sought students and their fees. Study in Australia: “a recognised immigration racket”

July 28, 2009

Holy cash cows tell of rorts of foreign students

The Australian Council for Private Education and Training yesterday unveiled a register of overseas education agents working for private vocational colleges. Agent register set up to fight foreign student rorts

This was on the same day that Four Corners aired Holy Cash Cows, an expose of the rorts in the enormous foreign student business in Australia, worth $15 billion.

Four Corners says that it has evidence that serious allegations have been made to government departments for some time, with no result or, worse still, the students subsequently found themselves under investigation:

I mean for years I have been writing about dodgy education providers in Sydney and nobody cares… there’s certainly been enough complaints lodged that the problems have been there. There’s no doubt.” – Corruption investigator

“For some time now the Federal Government has boasted about the growth in the foreign education sector. But some experts now believe the time has come for the government to stop the corruption. The question is: does it have the will?”

A few hours before the  Four Corners segment was aired, the offices of Migration Agent Mr Sanjay Deshwal were searched in a joint operation conducted by the Australian Federal Police, Department of Immigration and Citizenship and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Australian police target exploitation of Indian students

Let’s keep watch.

July 27, 2009

Imposters. Secret documents. That’s the Australian visa business

Staff of Australia’s largest international student service, IDP Australia, are being investigated for possible corruption, after some students in were caught cheating on English exams.

Erik Jensen of the Sydney Morning Herald writes-

“A source in the Sydney Indian community said education agents had been selling copies of the May International English Language Testings System exam for between $12,000 and $18,000.

“He said advance copies of the exam had come from inside IDP Australia, a company owned by 38 Australian universities in partnership with the job site Seek, and were being sold throughout Sydney.

The Department of Immigration relies on IDP Australia for English testing.

IDP has confirmed that several students have been caught defrauding the system, and the that  an investigation was under way to determine whether staff inside the service had been involved.

“Cheating in IELTS tests is not commonplace,” a spokeswoman for IDP Australia said. “However, given the high stakes involved, attempts to cheat or engage in other fraudulent activity such as identity fraud do occur.

“Recently in Australia, a small number of test takers have been detected in their attempt to cheat in the IELTS test. Whether or not it was an internal problem, we don’t know.”

The Aussie Possie recently reprinted a report from the Punjabi Tribune that claimed impersonation and document fraud among people sitting for the IELTS exam there. Punjabi marriage proposal: “I love your English!”

The Immigration department has recently raised its standard of English for work visas, from “a partial command” to “competent” English.

The Herald article reports that Immigration and Citizenship Minister Chris Evans is in India “dealing with the fallout over recent violence against Indian students and the uncovering of large-scale document fraud and economic slavery inside the $15 billion international education industry.” Cheating alleged in immigration exams

July 18, 2009

How to make a corrupt immigration system

“If you wanted to make a corrupt system, this is absolutely how you would do it”  –

Managing Director of Australian Immigration Law Services, Karl Konrad, quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald this week about the foreign student situation in Australia.

Mr Konrad, who has a reputation as a whistle blower, said colleges and employers had a dangerous amount of power over their students, who faced deportation if their enrolment was cancelled. Foreign students exploited as slaves

Immigration analyst, Bob Kinnaird, said the previous government was deliberately  “selling an education industry in the guise of a migration policy” when they changed the rules for overseas students from 2001 onwards.

The Sydney Morning Herald provides this chart of how the rules changed to allow the current highly-profitable and exploitative system:


– 1992 Private providers allowed to offer training courses.

– 2001 Graduating overseas students allowed to apply for residency without returning home.

– 2005 Trades students required to complete 900 hours of work experience. Many begin to work unpaid; some even pay for their positions. Some training organisations open businesses staffed by their own students.

– 2008 New regulation foreshadowed stipulating work experience must be paid and kept at arm’s length from the trainer. The regulation was never introduced.

– 2009 Priority given to applicants who are sponsored by Australian employers or state governments. Second priority given to those whose skills are listed on a critical skills list, but students of trades such as hairdressing and cooking can obtain an employer-sponsored permanent visa. the demand for placements outstrips the supply

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