The immigration Minister of Australia, Peter Dutton has announced that there will be changes in the Short Term Skilled Occupation List of Australia. The Short Term Skilled Occupation List of Australia presently contains 650 occupations that are obtainable for Subclass 457 Visa. This is a short term visa that allows the overseas skilled workers to live and work in Australia for up to four years. However, the applicants of this visa, first needs to be sponsored by an employer in Australia.
We may see the cut down in the list
As per the Immigration Minister, the number of jobs may get reduced in the Short Term Skilled Occupation list. At now, this list gets reviewed on yearly basis. However, this time around, we may see the cut down in the list in view of huge pressure from trade unions and political leaders regarding making the jobs available for the Australians, said Dutton.
Immigration Department Need to Strike Balance, When it comes to Considering the Skill Shortage
In the current list, there are variety of occupations with different qualification and salary level, i.e. Cabinet Makers, General Practitioners, Cooks, etc.
There are a few occupations that are not that much in shortage in the big cities, i.e. Cook, however, shortage of such occupations is definitely there in the regional Australia. Hence, the immigration department needs to strike the right balance.
Need to focus more on the shortage in the Regional Areas
As per Dutton, in certain parts of the country, there is a genuine shortage of the some occupations, i.e. Health providers, Hospitality, etc. In these areas, it is difficult to find workers. On the other end, there are cities where there is excess. The people mostly want to work in big cities or capital cities; however, it is quite difficult to find workers for the regional parts of the country.
Issues with regard to 457 visa program
There are various disputes associated with the 457 Visa program in Australia. It has been observed that a few employers accept payment from the employees for the 457 visa deal. However, the government has taken steps and enforced the laws to make this a criminal offence. The tightening up the visa and advertising arrangements will surely prevent such incidents in future. The process has been designed as such that the employers in Australia must connect or try to connect the workers in Australia, prior to considering the 457 program mentioned Dutton.
Hence, the government must get the balance right, at one end, it can’t afford that jobs are being allotted to overseas workers, when Australian workers are there to take up the positions. On the other end, they also can’t afford that jobs remain unfilled in the areas, where there is genuine shortage due to unavailability of Australian workers, as it will harm the productivity and economy of the country.
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