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Labor pledges to crack down on overseas skilled worker visas
Katherine O’Chee | 승인 2019.04.24 13:27

Labor has pledged to limit the number of skilled overseas workers in Australia and raise their minimum wage under plans to ensure they are not hired as cheap substitutes for local workers. 

The crackdown on temporary skilled worker (subclass 457) visas would involve restrictions on work visas to areas of genuine skills shortages and tightened enforcement of assessments that determine whether foreign workers are qualified and right for the job. 

According to Labor, four in every five temporary skilled visas are granted to jobs with no shortage of Australian workers. 

“We want to make sure short-term labour skilled migration doesn’t just become an excuse for cheap labour, exploitation of guest workers and locals missing out,” Labor Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told reporters during his Queensland election campaign on Wednesday.

Mr Shorten said while more than one million Australians want more work, 1.6 million visa holders currently have work rights in Australia. 

“Surely some of those jobs could go to Australians,” he said. 

Labor would increase the minimum pay threshold for workers on 457 visas from $53,900 to $65,000, with hopes of preventing companies from hiring them as cheaper labour. 

The Fair Work Ombudsman would be also given more power to monitor businesses and investigate employers suspected of exploiting foreign workers and breaching the migration act. 

Additionally, Labor has promised to invest $1 billion into training and apprenticeships for Australian workers in areas of significant skills shortages. 

Katherine O’Chee  edit@hanhodaily.com

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