12 March 2012

Australia expects labour injection with 457 visa change

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Recent relaxations to the 457 visa rules mean that Australia can expect an upswing in the number of foreign citizens moving to Australia for work.

Australia visa

The changes will allow more workers to find employment in Australia.

Previously under the 457 visa programme, an applicant needed sponsorship from a registered employer before being allowed to work in Australia. However, recruitment agency Adecco has become one of the first organisations to gain the capacity to act as an intermediary between employee and employer.

Adecco's director of marketing and communications for Australian New Zealand, Rick Khinda said many employers desperately require foreign staff to fill positions which cannot be taken by Australians but didn't have the time or the resources to invest in the current process.

But with Adecco acting as a go between for the companies, there will be much more opportunity for more people to move to Australia and successfully find permanent jobs.

"There are some great, talented people across South East Asia and across Europe now with its high unemployment. We're the sponsor, we payroll them and then we on-hire them to our customers," said Mr Khinda.

"I think there will be a slow increase in the 457 visas, but I don't think there is going to be a big rush because you do have to position yourselves appropriately to obtain the licence. It will take some time before it happens."

Despite Mr Khinda's realistic expectations, he does not downplay the significance the move will make to the Australian labour market: "It can only be of value to the GDP growth of our country."

BT Financial Group economist Chris Caton said a shrinking of the country's working age population would lead to a labour shortage of as much as 45,000 positions by the end of the decade.

"We used to have labour force growth of 1.5 to 2% a year and we're going to get used to 1% or less, and that's even with a continued active migration program" said Dr Caton.

This move comes as part of many the Australian government have made in recent months to make it easier for more skilled workers to enter the country and help fuel the booming mining industry.


The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge their Australia visa applications with the Australian Embassy London.

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