Foreign workers cause rising fears over jobs for Australians

Foreign workers cause rising fears over jobs for Australians

Foreign workers cause rising fears over jobs for Australians

The increasing number of temporary skilled workers, students and working holidaymakers granted access to the country is giving rise to fears over a lack of jobs for Aussie nationals.

Working holiday arrivals numbering in the hundreds of thousands have poured into the country, along with students allowed to take part-time jobs and skilled workers on temporary visas. Many arrive in order to get away from faltering economies in the West, with the main sources of manpower coming from the UK, Ireland, Germany, Taiwan and South Korea.

According to migration expert from Monash University Dr Bob Birrel, the uncapped programmes have resulted in a flood of temporary migrants accessing entry level jobs which should have been kept for young Australians. Most jobs being taken by migrants, he added, are lower skilled positions, and skilled workers arriving on 457 entry visas are mopping up many local jobs requiring experience and qualifications.

Dave Noonan, head of the Construction, Forestry, mining and Energy Union, told local media that over 13,000 foreign workers were employed in Sydney and Melbourne’s construction industry. Noonan believes that the government’s first responsibility is look after its home-grown workers, even if it’s at the expense of jobs for immigrants.

Overseas students with limited work rights have also flocked to the country in increased numbers over the last 12 months, and the number of Kiwis entering via special temporary visas to search for work has also increased. The overall increase in temporary visas issued so far in 2013 is running at 3.1 per cent more than at the same period in 2012, and totals 1.73 million.

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