Bringing Skilled Workers to Australia
The Australian Bureau of Statistics announced that the unemployment rate increased by 0.2% in March 2013. The Bureau’s report shows a full-time job decline by 7,400 skilled worker visa UK and part-time employment fell by 28,700. The unemployment rate is the percentage of the labour force that is unemployed. Some unemployment can arise because those looking for work do not have the skills. Unemployment affects the economy as it results into fewer taxpayers, decreased spending power and additional costs for the government. It is debatable if unemployment can be created by bringing skilled workers to Australia.
In 2011 to 2012, there were 125,000 workers in Australia on 457 visa programs, which is under one percent of the country’s workforce. About ten years ago, the effect of working holiday makers in the labour market were investigated by the Melbourne Institute. The W.H.M. (Working Holiday Maker) is different to the 457 visa. The Institute found that most of the 41,000 young people coming to Australia annually with the W.H.M. visa spent their earnings and created more local jobs.
The working holiday visa allows people from other countries to fill any vacancy where the 457 visa applicant can only fill a position where there is no appropriate local worker. The 457 visa system has strict guidelines and rules, and it can be argued that, according to Professor King at the Department of Economics of the Monash University, bringing qualified workers to Australia have a more positive effect than working holiday makers.
Professor King says that bringing skilled workers to Australia improves the quality of what is produced locally. The professor also says that bringing professional workers improves the quality of services such as healthcare, and it applies to many areas of the economy.
The Australian Prime Minister said in March 2013 that the IT sector was abusing the 457 visa program. The Prime Minister said that Australia’s IT sector was taking jobs away from the country by bringing skilled workers to Australia. The Minister’s comments were supported by Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor, who also recently accused the IT sector of abusing the 457 visa program. Minister O’Connor said he supports the government’s decision to close loopholes in the 457 visa program.