27 February 2006

Australian apprentice work visa to stay says minister

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Australian minister of immigration, Amanda Vanstone says the apprenticeship visas on offer will not infringe on the rights of Australians seeking work.

Under fire from Labor opposition critics, Senator Vanstone has said Australians will not be cheated out of apprenticeships by the creation of a new trade-skills visa.

The new visa category will allow employers in regionla reas to award apprenticeships to trainees from overseas.

In defence of the new visa, Vanstone noted the news visas would be subject to approval by local authorities.

With Australia facing a dire skills shortage, the Governement is looking at new ways of attracting and traning skilled labour. The Governement is looking to a long-term strategy of training and eduation, as well as more short-term solutions including immigration and visas such as the 'apprentice visa' to fill gaps in the country's labour market.

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