Why 457 Visa Changes Won’t Affect Employers

Australia is the ‘Lucky Country’, blessed with friendly neighbours, great beaches and enjoyable lifestyles. It is our duty to train and educate young Australians so that they, too, can make their mark on the Australian landscape.

But it’s hard to do this if businesses source cheaper skilled labour from overseas.

That’s why the Aussie government has made some changes to temporary migration visas.

As of yesterday, 19 April 2017, the occupation list that underpins the 457 visa has been significantly condensed from 651 to 435 occupations. Of the 435 listed occupations, access to 24 occupations has been restricted to regional Australia (e.g. farming and agriculture).

According to the ABC:

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says the move is designed to put Australian workers first, though key industries have expressed their fears about the difficulty they may face hiring top talent.

I’m all for putting Australian workers first. But as the ABC points out, the change might reduce the number of migrant workers coming into the country by only 8.6%. They found:

‘…human resource advisers, production managers in manufacturing and web developers will be most affected, based on the number of 457 visas granted in 2015–16.

In principle, I agree with what the Turnbull government is trying to do. As the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection stated:

These measures [457 visa changes] will sharpen the focus of Australia’s employer sponsorship skilled migration programmes to ensure they better meet Australia’s skills needs, increase the quality and economic contribution of skilled migrants and address public concerns about the displacement of Australian workers.

But these changes likely won’t affect businesses that primarily source skilled workers from overseas.


Härje Ronngard

Junior Analyst, Money Morning

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