Visa changes highlighted
WITH projects in Gladstone booming, an influx of thousands of workers from interstate and overseas is expected over the next few years.
In September last year, the Australian government announced changes to the Subclass 457 visa program to ensure that it continued to provide industry with skills, while not undermining local training and employment opportunities.
The 457 visa program is an uncapped temporary visa entirely driven by employer demand for skills that are not available locally. It allows employers to access the skills they need, with the overseas workers returning home when those skills are no longer required.
Yesterday in Gladstone an information session highlighting the changes was delivered by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship to employers and employees.
Multicultural community relations officer Luis Arroyo from the Community Advisory Service said the 457 visa legislation will affect industry and local businesses.
“Gladstone has experienced a large influx of workers coming from interstate and overseas,” Mr Arroyo said.
“Local employers and industry in general must be aware of the social ramifications of sponsoring people coming from overseas or interstate.
"It is important to share knowledge with key stakeholders in the community such as community services as well as service providers because over the next 24 months we will have at least 3000 workers employed by industry and they all need to know how the legislation will impact upon them.
“And that is why they call it driven demand legislation, which takes into account three main items – participation, population and productivity,” Mr Arroyo said.