Anti-457 visa move could harm Australia’s technology industry

Posted on 30/11/16 in Business Consulting, Company News, Migration News, No Comments

Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes warns that anti-457 visa move could harm Australia’s technology industry. A private member’s bill into federal parliament – the Migration Amendment (Putting Local Workers First) Bill – will tighten up the controls around the issuance of 457 visas.

According to The Australian, the bill would introduce more rigorous requirements for labour-market testing for firms to use 457 visas, require companies to advertise jobs for at least four weeks locally before they bring in a foreign worker, and impose a raft of other conditions on employers seeking to bring in foreign skilled workers.

The tech industry is one of the biggest users of the visas, working within a ceiling of 5,000 a year but the total number of people coming in on 457 visas has already gone down from 70,000 a year a few years ago to 45,000 today.

Founded in 2002, Atlassian has 2000 employees around the world, including 1000 in Australia, where 25% of its Australian workforce are on 457 visas and most are software engineers.

Cannon-Brookes points out that he would prefer to hire as much of its local workforce as possible in Australia, however Australia produces only 2000 computer science graduates a year – far less than the 5000 foreign workers that come in to the country on 457 visas. He adds that Australian graduates don’t have the 10-15 years of experience that a foreigner might have working in Silicon Valley.

Source: The Australian


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