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Let them in! gives green light for temporary visas

Thursday, 08 February 2007
By Print 21 Online Article

In a submission to the Federal Government’s inquiry on the temporary skilled migration scheme, Printing Industries has outlined a series of recommendations based on industry feedback.

The submission supports overseas workers getting a visa to fill industry occupations including binding and finishing, screen printing, printing machinists, small offset printers and graphic pre-press tradespeople. “Our recommendation to the inquiry is that we support the temporary skilled migration visa (457) scheme as it remains a critical component in the overall strategy of addressing Australia’s serious skills shortages,” said Hagop Tchamkertenian, Printing Industries national policy and research manager.

Printing Industries received some criticism from members who believed that local businesses should invest in training and upskilling those within Australia, but this did not sway the decision. “Local businesses should continue having access to overseas-based skilled labour if they can demonstrate that they cannot train, up-skill or access suitably qualified people locally,” Tchamkertenian said.

The Association’s recommendations include:

  • ensuring that there is maximum flexibility when assessing a commitment to training
  • supporting existing arrangements concerning the English language
  • streamlining the processes for establishing, monitoring and reporting of Labour Agreements and
  • eliminating any differences in payment between local and sponsored workers which will ensure that there is no mandated minimum wage/salary levels for sponsored workers.

Printing Industries also recommended that employers sponsoring overseas workers make them aware of their employment rights prior to arriving in Australia and during their induction period. It also supports the existing regime of penalties and sanctions to employers who breach their obligations under the relevant visa class and recommends that the government investigate the processing and granting of temporary business visas. It did not support the reintroduction of labour market testing.

Tchamkertenian said that the submission would help to solve the current lows of industry occupations. “We are hopeful that once our recommendations are implemented by the government, the temporary business visa system becomes even more appealing to printing businesses experiencing acute skills shortages,” he said.

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