Unions welcome the Senate Inquiry into the growing use and reported abuse of temporary work visas, including 457, working holiday and student visas.
The inquiry comes after lobbying by the ACTU, resource, health and service sector unions, which was supported by migrant community organisations, to ensure Australia’s temporary visa system is transparent, regulated and puts local jobs and training first.
The Senate Inquiry will investigate a wide range of issues including:
Australian Unions have genuine concerns that foreign workers on temporary visas are being exploited and that unscrupulous employers are rorting the scheme at the expense of Australian jobs.
Unions support multiculturalism and permanent skilled migration over the use of temporary migration schemes.
ACTU President Ged Kearney said: “The Senate Inquiry is a positive step towards ensuring foreign workers are not being exploited and that employers are genuinely trying to hire Australian workers first.
“With unemployment sitting above 6 per cent and youth unemployment at around 14 per cent, the government should be strengthening the rules for employers to hire local workers and investing in skills and training.
“Across the country we are seeing employers cutting apprentice numbers and graduate nurse positions as well as their investment in training, then complaining they are unable to find skilled workers as a justification for bringing in workers on 457 visas.
“Australia’s migration program should not be at the beck and call of big business.”
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