Government response to 457 visa review

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

hospitality-bannerThe release of the Australian Government’s response to the independent review of the 457 visa programme is a solid step in addressing labour shortages gripping the tourism and hospitality sector, according to peak industry association Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA). R&CA CEO John Hart said the release of the Government’s response to the independent review announced by Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash this morning has come at a critical time for the sector.
“The tourism and hospitality sector is Australia’s largest export services sector, contributing $128 billion to the economy each year. Yet growth of this sector is stifled by an inability to find suitable staff at a local level,” Mr Hart said. “The sector is already experiencing a shortfall of 56,000 jobs, with employment in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food businesses projected to grow by more than 43,700 jobs or 8.5 per cent to November 2018. The rate of growth in this sector is expected to be higher than any other sector in the Australian economy. “We need tangible and streamlined migration solutions which help the sector address increasing shortfalls in skilled and semi-skilled labour.”
Mr Hart said requirements around the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL), Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT), and English language skills often create roadblocks for the use of the 457 visa programme by the tourism and hospitality sector. “The system has been complicated and unresponsive to the industry’s needs for quite some time.
“R&CA’s 2014 Benchmarking Survey found that 60.8 per cent of businesses currently have vacancies with 22.3 per cent indicating they were having extreme difficulty finding staff. Chefs, Cooks and Restaurant Managers ranked as the most difficult vacancies to fill. “The Government’s support for reform in critical areas, including an average score for English language requirements, regional concessions to the TSMIT, and a freeze on further increases to the TSMIT will provide greater opportunity for businesses to fill vacant positions.
“Making the system easier to manage for businesses with a good track record whilst imposing tougher penalties for non-compliance is the best regulatory approach. “We need a system that supports small business and protects overseas workers; I am confident the reforms will strike the right balance,” Mr Hart said.


About Author