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The Australian National University

Is the Net Cast too Wide? An Assessment of Whether the Regulatory Design of the 457 Visa Meets Australia's Skill Needs

Joanna Howe (2013) 41 (3)

With increasing use of skilled temporary migration by employers and its significant influence upon Australia's permanent migration intake, the 457 visa has far-reaching implications — both for the domestic labour market and for the long-term composition of the Australian population. The scheme was introduced in 1996 to facilitate the temporary migration of skilled overseas workers to alleviate domestic skill shortages. Predicated upon a premise of business demand, the scheme allows employers to sponsor overseas workers whose occupations are on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List. Verification of whether the employer's attestation of a skill shortage is genuine is provided through employer-conducted labour market testing for certain occupations and the market salary rates requirement. This article questions whether these regulatory mechanisms are effective for ensuring the 457 visa program meets its objectives.

Vol 41, Issue 3, 2013

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