THE Coalition has taken decisive steps to undo some of the former Labor government’s 457 visa amendments by exempting highly skilled occupations from the labour market testing requirement.

In a statement released on Friday, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Senator Michaelia Cash said the changes reflected the Coalition’s plan to take a sensible approach to skilled migration.

“The Abbott Government is committed to ensuring that the Subclass 457 program acts as a supplement to, and not a substitute for Australian workers, and the government fully supports the principle that Australian workers have priority,” she said.

“But to bind employers up in needless red tape will only stymie Australian business and cost Australian jobs over the long run.

“That is why in implementing Labor’s labour market testing policy, the government has adopted a sensible approach by exempting highly skilled occupations from the requirement.”

Cash indicated exemptions will apply in a small number of cases in which labour market testing would conflict with Australia’s international trade obligations. Additionally, the act also allows for the minister to declare exemptions in the event of a major disaster, in order to allow overseas disaster relief and recovery workers to enter Australia unimpeded.

Labour market testing laws were passed during the former government’s last parliamentary sitting in June, despite concern from business groups that adequate consultation time had not been allocated to the highly contentious issue.

As a result, the Coalition has also delayed implementation until November 23 to allow sufficient time for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to consult employee and employer groups on its implementation.

“It’s a sad indictment of the previous government that we have had to consult on legislation, which the former government introduced, after it already pass both houses of parliament,” Ms Cash said.

“In implementing this legislation the government has therefore been mindful that affected parties have been consulted to ensure that its implementation is done in a practical way, which accounts for its impact on Australian businesses and Australian workers alike.”

Guidelines from the Department recognise a broad range of recruitment activities as sufficient for meeting the labour market testing requirement, the evidence of which will be valid for 12 months.

 

MIGRATION:

HEAD: Coalition moves to exempt some occupations from 457 labour market testing

THE Coalition has taken decisive steps to undo some of the former Labor government’s 457 visa amendments by exempting highly skilled occupations from the labour market testing requirement.

In a statement released on Friday, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Senator Michaelia Cash said the changes reflected the Coalition’s plan to take a sensible approach to skilled migration.

“The Abbott Government is committed to ensuring that the Subclass 457 program acts as a supplement to, and not a substitute for Australian workers, and the government fully supports the principle that Australian workers have priority,” she said.

“But to bind employers up in needless red tape will only stymie Australian business and cost Australian jobs over the long run.

“That is why in implementing Labor’s labour market testing policy, the government has adopted a sensible approach by exempting highly skilled occupations from the requirement.”

Cash indicated exemptions will apply in a small number of cases in which labour market testing would conflict with Australia’s international trade obligations. Additionally, the act also allows for the minister to declare exemptions in the event of a major disaster, in order to allow overseas disaster relief and recovery workers to enter Australia unimpeded.

Labour market testing laws were passed during the former government’s last parliamentary sitting in June, despite concern from business groups that adequate consultation time had not been allocated to the highly contentious issue.

As a result, the Coalition has also delayed implementation until November 23 to allow sufficient time for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to consult employee and employer groups on its implementation.

“It’s a sad indictment of the previous government that we have had to consult on legislation, which the former government introduced, after it already pass both houses of parliament,” Ms Cash said.

“In implementing this legislation the government has therefore been mindful that affected parties have been consulted to ensure that its implementation is done in a practical way, which accounts for its impact on Australian businesses and Australian workers alike.”

Guidelines from the Department recognise a broad range of recruitment activities as sufficient for meeting the labour market testing requirement, the evidence of which will be valid for 12 months.