Temporary migration is a permanent thing

27 Mar 2013
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The 457 visa system is a short-term temporary visa for skills shortages. If it’s being used for any other purpose by anyone, then it’s being used wrongly and we should stamp that out.
– Julia Gillard, Age, 18 March 2013

IF THE prime minister really thinks that the only purpose of the 457 visa is to fill temporary skills shortages then she should ask senior officials for a briefing about the evolution of Australia’s migration program over the past fifteen years.

That may have been the original intention of the 457 visa. Conceived when Paul Keating was prime minister but introduced after John Howard took office in 1996, it was supposed to give the domestic training system enough breathing space to catch up with the demand for qualified employees. The idea was that skills gaps would be plugged with temporary foreign workers while locals were trained to fill the positions in the longer term.

Things have worked out differently…

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2013
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