457 visa changes prompt training surge

by Brett Henebery20 Jul 2017
Organisations affected by the Federal Government’s 457 Visa changes say they will train more local talent to overcome skills shortages.

In April, the Federal Government announced it was abolishing the 457 Visa program which allowed organisations to hire foreign workers where they could not find a suitably qualified Australian.

Now, a survey of 323 businesses in Victoria by the state’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry has found that just 9% of employers are turning to skilled migration visas as a means of hiring qualified workers.

A massive 64% of companies reported having no problem hiring skilled Australian workers.

Of organisations aiming to bridge skills gaps, 26% plan to poach staff from competitors and 34% expect to invest in training for existing staff.

The sector facing the biggest challenge recruiting skilled worker is the construction industry, followed by business services, education, health and community services sectors.

Victorian Chamber chief, Mark Stone, said the findings show that more than a third of surveyed businesses are upskilling their workers, while a quarter are actively seeking to attract skilled employees from local competitors.

“Education and training providers needed to be better aligned with industries looking for workers,” Stone said in a statement.

“The key is for employers to be able to recruit from a qualified and trained pool of candidates in Australia without having to look offshore to fill vital skilled roles.”

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