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16 Dec 2016

Journeys Shared: Businesses warn against 457 visa changes

There has been a lot of news in the media about 457 visas recently, with both political parties promising to tighten the visa scheme. As migration agents, we understand businesses can have highly specialised work requirements, but sometimes it can be difficult to fill these roles locally due to skill shortages.

Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder of tech company, Atlassian, warned against chnages to 457 visas in a recent interview with Radio National.

Mr Cannon-Brooke says, “We’ve got extremely talented here [in Australia] and we have extremely smart people coming out of universities. They just don’t have the experience we need.”

He explains that technology is a growing industry in Australia, and while graduates may be qualified, many don’t have the senior, skilled technical experience built on a decade of working at successful, fast-growing tech companies.

“We don’t have a big technology industry here and we certainly didn’t have one ten years ago,” Mr Cannon-Brookes said, “So if we’re looking for people with ten years’ experience, they largely don’t exist in anywhere near the quantity that the industry needs. So we import that talent in order to train the graduates and other young people that we have here.

Mr Cannon-Brooke believes political parties may be using community concerns about immigration to build a case against 457 visas that could essentially win them election votes, and that people are missing the fact that the campaigns fail to reference key, publicly available statistics about the 457 visa program.

Mr Cannon-Brooke points to the fact that the number of visas being granted has declined for several years – down from more than 77,000 a few years ago to 45,000 this year.

“It’s a very dangerous situation. None of them are talking about the statistics or the facts about what is actually happening with 457’s,” he said.

Listen to the full 8-minute Radio National interview with Mr Cannon-Brooke here.

For more on the 457 visas controversy, read our post on how Labor leader, Bill Shorten plans to tighten 457 visa rules. 

Source: InnovationAus and ABC


Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).


Filed in: Visas

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