News this week from Down Under is that applicants for the Australian 457 visa scheme will have an easier time to obtain their visas.
The Australian Federal Government announced that they will be looking into ways of making it easier for Australian employers to employ migrants on the 457 visa scheme.
Based on an independent report, investigating the 457 visa scheme, released by the Australian Government this week the 457 visa scheme was found to be “balanced and measured”.
Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said that the 457 visa scheme report revealed that reforms of the system would allow Australian employees to sponsor more temporary employees, which he said is vital for helping Australia to create more jobs.
The report recommended abolishing labour market testing, streamlining the renewal process for trusted sponsors and relaxing the English-language requirements for visa applicants.
"The 457 program came under direct attack from Labor in government, as they attempted to suffocate the program with regulation at the urging of the unions," Morrison told the National Press Club.
"457 workers make a contribution from day one. They come the right way, they pay tax and support themselves from day one."
Reacting to the proposed new legislation the Australian Council of Trade Unions warned the recommendation to lower English standards for 457 visa holders could see foreign workers exploited as they may understand less in terms of their employment rights and working conditions due to language barriers.
"If workers can't read safety standards and procedures then their lives and their colleagues' lives are being put at risk," ACTU president Ged Kearney said in a statement.
Yet South Africans, living in what is considered an English-speaking country by most, should not have any problem with this as many South Africans taking the ELTS test typically score well to high test results.
This announcement was embraced by business and resource groups welcoming changes they claimed would make it easier to get workers where they were needed most.
Adding their voice of support the National Farmers Federation said regional Australia suffered from acute skills shortages and there are not enough local workers in many parts to fill job gaps.
"This makes being able to bring skilled workers in from overseas hugely important," the National Farmers Federation president Brent Finlay said in a statement.
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