15 May 2009

Australian working holiday makers getting work over locals

Complaints that the Australian working holiday makers are taking the jobs of local Australians have reached the Queensland Workplace Ombudsman.

The Australian working holiday visa is a 12-month visa that allows tourists aged 18-30 years to temporarily work in Australia for up to twelve months, provided they do not work for one employer for longer than six months. 

After the Government announced this week that the Australian skilled migration program would yet again be cut to make it 108,000 places for the 2009-10 financial year because of the global recession and rising unemployment levels, concerns that local Australians are not getting the first dibs at employment are being voiced.

In Bundaberg's horticultural industry on the Queensland coast – a hotspot for Australian working holiday makers – reports are being made that local fruit growers are favouring Australian working holiday makers over locals because of their cheaper rates of pay, reports ABC News.

While this is great news for Australian working holiday makers who need itinerant work to subsidise their holiday, Queensland Workplace Ombudsman Don Brown said that local growers should exhaust their local workforce before hiring backpackers.

He also added that Australian working holiday makers are vital to supporting the horticultural industry, which often finds it difficult to source local labour to harvest the fruit and vegetables year upon year.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their Australian working holiday visa application.

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