ECCV calls on Fed Govt to implement independent labour market testing in wake of 457 visa scrapping

The Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) has urged the Federal Government to take up recommendations to implement independent labour market testing in the wake of scrapping of the 457 visa program.


ECCV Chairman, Eddie Micallef, said it was “obvious that in some instances employers were using it to simply rort the system and abuse the employment rights of some of the most vulnerable members of our society.


“Having said this, it also needs to be acknowledged that many temporary visa holders have made outstanding contributions to our economy and the richness of our vibrant multicultural society.


“It is important that workers coming into Australia under the new temporary visa scheme are protected from exploitation and abuse of their rights as workers,” Mr Micallef said.


“Some of the language the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been reported as using to promote the new scheme could be seen as being divisive and inflammatory, which is extremely unfortunate.


 “It has been well proven by substantial research over many years that migrants have provided significant economic and cultural boosts to this country. There have also been many reports about how having a culturally diverse workplace actually promotes business success and decision making.


“The Prime Minister saying that migrant workers are somehow ‘taking Australian jobs’ is factually inaccurate and nothing more than ‘populist politics’ which is aimed at appeasing the hard-right in his own party and the anti-immigration policies of some groups within our community.


“We need to remember that we are a nation built on immigration, and that in many instances immigrants have been the driving force for much of this country’s economic success.  Political leaders at all levels have continually reiterated that Australia’s multiculturalism is one of our greatest strengths.


“Abolishing the current labour market testing approach which is conducted by employers and replacing it with a genuinely independent body that is responsible for labour market testing, would be one positive element in ensuring that employers are not rorting the system and abusing the rights of foreign workers.


“We also need to make sure that the skills being brought in are equivalent to local skills and to a standard of what is required by local workers.


“It also needs to be demonstrated that there is a genuine shortage and not simply a pretext for bringing in cheaper labour and undermining local wages and conditions.”

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