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2015-06-19

457 visa numbers

457 visa employers should take on apprentices, say unions

The union movement wants to see more obligations placed on companies that use 457 visa workers, including requirements that they take on apprentices and, in professional areas, local graduates.

The ACTU’s submission to the current Senate inquiry into temporary migration visas will argue that

the tightening of laws around the use of 457s should be seen as a first step to reforming the entire temporary visa system.

These recommendations will form part of the union case to the Senate Inquiry into Temporary Visas which is sitting in Melbourne on Friday and Sydney next week.

Recommended changes include:

  • Where four or more 457 visa workers are sponsored by the employer in trade and technical occupations, apprentices must represent at least 25 per cent of the sponsor’s trade workforce;
  • When employers are sponsoring 457 visa workers in professional and managerial occupations, recent Australian higher education graduates with less than 12 months’ paid work experience should represent at least 15% per cent of the sponsor’s managerial and professional workforce;
  • Sponsors of 457 visa workers should make a $4000 payment into a dedicated training fund that is linked to broader training objectives.

There are currently over 1.2 million temporary visa holders working in Australia and they make up 10 per cent of the workforce.  Some 106,750 of these are primary 457 visa holders.

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