According to the Australian government’s website:
The Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa is designed to enable employers to address labour shortages by bringing in genuinely skilled workers where they cannot find an appropriately skilled Australian worker.
The subclass 457 visa is the most commonly used programme for employers to sponsor overseas workers to work in Australia on a temporary basis.
Source: Fact Sheet 48, Dept of Immigration and Border Protection
(last updated 14 January 2014)
Last week, media outlets revealed that too many nurses have immigrated on the 457 visa and have displaced Australia-trained nurses from the employment pool. Here are some examples of the coverage:
Up to 3,000 graduate nurses haven’t managed to get jobs in hospitals and unions are blaming a rise in the number of foreign nurses being brought into the country on 457 working visas.
Hundreds of graduate nurses and midwives are struggling to get jobs and complain of being locked out of the workforce at the same time as hospitals are employing thousands of foreign nurses on temporary 457 visas.
More: ‘Graduate nurses and midwives complain their jobs are being outsourced
to cheap 457 visa immigrants’, news.com.au, 20 May 2014
We encourage all our readers to sign the online petition calling on the Australian government to review the 457 visa for international nurses, so that Australian graduate nurses have more job opportunities. Over 21,000 people have already shown their support, but more signatures are needed.
Nursing isn’t the only profession that is threatened by poor administration of the 457 visa program. From the long-running negotiations towards a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Australian and China, there’s an ominous suggestion that Chinese workers might be fast-tracked into Australia under a customised variation of the 457 visa rules:
There have been reports that China has demanded to be allowed to import workers into Australia for projects funded by Chinese investors as part of the FTA being negotiated between Canberra and Beijing.
While the government is unlikely to agree to such an arrangement, it is understood to be considering compromise options including streamlining Chinese firms’ sponsorship of 457 visas for some projects in Australia, while ensuring Australian work standards are still met.
More: ‘Free trade agreement push to import Chinese workers criticised’,
The Age, 15 April 2014.
High immigration places unreasonable pressure on our Australian economy, employment prospects and way of life. The 457 visa is just one ingredient in the immigration mix that is threatening our environmental sustainability, social cohesion and cultural integrity.
The Australian government must develop policies to REDUCE IMMIGRATION. You can send them a message each time you vote by participating in our write-on campaign.