The Government of Australia expands the skilled occupations list
The Australian Government has expanded the current year’s skilled occupations list to include more than 750 different professions. Positions already open to expats range from grape growing to goat and pig farming, and from managing caravan parks to coaching swimmers. For artistic types, foreigners are also allowed to work as sculptors, potters, singers and fashion designers. Many human resources experts, however, claim that most of these professions could be easily found locally.
Simultaneously the government passed some new rules that impose more restriction on people who hold 457 temporary visas. The new rules will require all employers to advertise the positions locally in order to prove that qualified workers cannot be found in the country before searching from them abroad. On the other hand, however, there will be more protection for foreign 457 visa holders who lose their job. They will be given 90 days rather than 28 to find a new employer, who is willing to sponsor them.
Brendan O’Connor, Australia’s minister for immigration and citizenship, said: “Most Australians would expect that employers look local first before hiring workers from overseas, and these legislative changes will ensure that occurs where it’s not already happening.” In addition to that foreign workers will be guaranteed that they will have the same right and obligations as local citizens, which will prevent exploitation and work abuse.
One industry where the use of foreign labour has ballooned in recent years is IT. The technology sector’s use of 457 visas has grown almost 75 per cent in the past two years. Over the same period, the number of foreign IT managers has almost trebled.
The new changes in the employment law will also give the right to more than 300 Fair Work Ombudsmans to check if the employers are complying with the new regulations and especially with the equality of payment
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