Business Briefing

Business Briefing: breaking down the 457 visa myths

The majority of 457 visa holders are skilled workers. AAP/Alan Porritt

Business Briefing: breaking down the 457 visa myths

Business Briefing: breaking down the 457 visa myths. The Conversation16.4 MB (download)

Peter McDonald, a professor of demography at the University of Melbourne, says a 457 visa worker is more likely to take the job of a young academic than that of a blue collar worker.

Labor and the Coalition government are suggesting changes to the 457 visa workers scheme to ensure these workers aren’t taking jobs that would otherwise be filled by Australians.

However Labor’s plan is misguided because the majority of 457 visa holders are skilled workers who are more specialised and experienced compared with those who are unemployed in Australia, McDonald says.

In fact, often if 457 visa workers weren’t employed, these jobs wouldn’t exist in the first place, he says. This is because employers specifically need the skills of these workers and, in general, these workers create jobs in Australia.

McDonald says there is a case for targeting the scheme so that 457 visa workers take certain jobs in the workforce and in certain locations, where there is demand. However, he says most of the recommendations from an earlier inquiry to improve 457 visa workers program have not been implemented by the government yet.

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