After the US, it is the turn of Australia to adopt protectionism for their citizens. In a move to encourage local hiring, and to stop foreign workers from coming into their country, Australia has abolished 457 work visa.
This is a significant development, as 457 work visa was one of the most popular visas used by Australian companies to bring foreign workers, from all fields.
But, IT sector was the biggest beneficiary of this visa, and out of 95,757 temporary workers right now in Australia, the majority of them are Indians, into IT and other niches.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said while announcing this new visa change,
“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,”
The statement clearly indicates that Australia wants jobs for their own people, and they don’t want foreign workers in their country. An almost same stand taken by US President Donald Trump, regarding immigrants.
PM further said, “We will no longer allow 457 visas to be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians..”
In place of 457 work visa, a new form of temporary work visa would be introduced, which would be a lot stricter and tougher to get approved.
Australian Startups Worry About Skills Shortage
As soon as the announcement came regarding the end of 457 work visa, reactions started coming in, from Australian startups. As per them, there would be heavy skill shortage now, as Australia has limited talent, and the gap between demand and supply is huge.
CEO of Sydney start-up Expert360 Bridget Loudon said, “The talent gap in Australia is a major concern for businesses and this move simply creates more uncertainty for skilled workers who might have considered bringing their talent to Australia..”, adding, “In fact, 457 visas have played a big part in helping us grow so significantly over the past four years and it would be a shame if other high-growth businesses would not be able to achieve that same level of success because of these changes.”
As per Atlassian co-founder and co-CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes, 457 work visas have been very useful to invite experienced professionals into Australia, which in turn trained local talent. But now, the cycle would be broken, and the industry can go into a crisis.
Australia’s decision to stop the inflow of skilled foreign workers comes after both US and UK decided to adopt protectionismfor their local talent, and ensuring they get the job first, rather than any other person from any other country.