Failings of 457s
I DO not blame any person trying to come to Australia to start a new life.
However, the 457 scheme was designed as a short-term temporary visa for skills shortages. I have firsthand experience of Australian citizens not being able to get employment because people on 457 visas have taken up jobs that locals can do.
In some cases a 457 will accept a lower rate of pay. And there is no requirement for local labour market testing. The federal coalition closed this down many years back.
There is ongoing debate about closing down the 457 scheme now that there is no skill shortage and unemployment in WA is high.
Yet numbers arriving on 457s continue to increase. Current employment stats in my industry – engineering – showed there are about 50 applicants for each job but on average only three are deemed suitable.
The employment study found that many applicants failed due to being deficient in soft communication skills, which is code for poor English.
The 457 visas currently make up more than 50 per cent of the annual visas filled by net overseas migration. It is a major contributor to the massive 400,000 people added to the Australian population every year.
I think most of us would question if this is sustainable (i.e. traffic congestion, house prices increase and infrastructure costs to name a few).
The planners and politicians tell us high immigration is good for us so we need to get used to living in European type-high density tenements. Developers enjoy the financial benefits.
But I'm not sure that's what most West Australians want.