Australia has abolished a visa programme used
by over 95,000 temporary foreign workers to tackle the growing unemployment in
the country. The majority of the visa holders were from India followed by the UK
The programme known as 457 visa allows business to employ
foreign workers for a period up to four years in skilled jobs where there is a
shortage of Australian workers.
"We are an immigration nation, but the fact remains:
Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs, so we are abolishing
the 457 visa, the visa that brings temporary foreign workers into our
country," said Prime Minister Malcolm
He said Australia will adopt a new 'Australians first'
approach to skilled migration. The programme will be replaced by another visa
programme, with new restrictions.
"It is important businesses still get access to the
skills they need to grow and invest, so the 457 visa will be replaced by a new
temporary visa, specifically designed to recruit the best and brightest in the
national interest," Turnbull said.
Turnbull said the new programme will ensure that foreign
workers are brought into Australia in order to fill critical skill gaps and not
brought in because an employer finds it easier to recruit a foreign worker than
go to the trouble of hiring an Australian.