Labor has pledged to cut down the number of foreigners in Australia who have work permits. This it will accomplish by increasing the country’s minimum wage and introducing stricter tests for skill shortage.
My Shorten, speaking to reporters in Queensland, stressed that they want to ensure that cheap labor isn’t promoted in the country through short term skilled migration.
According to him, over 1 million Australian citizens are seeking for jobs while 1.6 million foreigners in the country are permitted to work. He believes that some of the jobs could be given to Australians.
By raising the threshold for skilled foreigners in the country to be hired by over $10,000 and keeping it at $65,000, the Australian government hopes to end all chances that they could be used as cheap replacements.
Labor is also planning to apprehend employers who provide substandard accommodation for their employees and those who subject their workers to working overtime excessively for low pay.
Employers will not have to provide employment agreements for all their foreign staff and also keep their contact details for support services.
The authority and power of the Ombudsman of Fair Work will be increased, allowing its officers to conduct inspections and investigations on businesses and employers who have been suspected of breaching the migration act.
Skill shortages assessment may now be handled by a new body
Labor is proposing to introduce a new body that will be responsible for assessing skill shortages. The new body will be tasked with discovering areas of genuine need and restrict visas to such areas. At the moment, about 80% of temporary skilled visas are issued for occupations that have a sufficient supply of Australian workers.
Labor added that they were going to open a public register which will be used in recording the number of workers in every workplace who have a visa.
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