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Australian government and hospitality industry’s 457 visas deal is good news for migrants

Restaurant & Catering Australia said it had reached an “historic” agreement to address “chronic labour shortages gripping the hospitality sector”, which involves lowering the temporary skilled migration income threshold by 10 per cent.

How Australia Manages Its Migration Programme

“This moderate concession means it will be more feasible for operators to hire overseas workers, should they be able to demonstrate they have experienced prolonged vacancies in their businesses,” John Hart, R&C A chief executive, said today.

Under the Restaurant (Fine Dining) Industry Labour A greement, businesses will be need to meet criteria to access skilled migrants, including having an la carte menu, having uniformed staff and a maître d’ and industry recognition through award programs. The agreement also outlines the skills, qualifications and English language requirements needed to work in Australia.

Chefs, cooks and restaurant managers the most difficult vacancies to fill.

“R&CA has long advocated for a labour agreement that will streamline migration processes and provide businesses with access to semi- and high-skilled labour.”

Mr Hart added that “skilled migration has contributed to the evolution and fusion of cuisine types here in Australia”.
“With skilled migration also comes job creation for local Australians”.

“There is no shortage of people in Australia willing to work in restaurants. The industry’s real problem is not a shortage of workers, it is its failure to provide good jobs with fair pay and working conditions,” said United Voice National President Jo-anne Schofield.

United Voice said the industry has an application before the Fair Work Commission to cut weekend and evening penalty rates for hospitality workers.

“The restaurant industry does not need this agreement. It needs to stop its attack on pay and working conditions”.
In the 2014-15 financial year, the accommodation and food services industry was the largest user of the 457 temporary work (skilled) visa program, with 4,350 applications granted.

Cooks, cafe and restaurant managers, and chefs ranked in the top 15 nominated occupations for primary applications in that year.

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