Bill Shorten is yet again trying to rewrite his and Labor’s history of mismanagement of the 457 visa programme.
Labor’s supposed “analysis” of the Coalition’s reduction in the number of occupations on the skilled occupations list led Mr Shorten to claim today that “there have not been any (foreign workers) coming in for years now” under those occupations.
If that’s the case Mr Shorten needs to explain why Labor granted more than 21,000 visas in those categories during its years in government.
21,103 to be exact.
21,000 that were among the blowout of 457 visas granted under Labor that saw the number of foreign workers on 457 visas grow from 68,000 in 2010 to more than 110,000 in 2013 when Mr Shorten was Employment Minister.
Mr Shorten and his colleagues are the ones who perverted the 457 programme to the extent that they let fast food outlets bring in foreign workers to fill jobs that young Australians should have had.
The Coalition’s abolition of the 457 visa programme will see Australian workers get priority for Australian jobs.
Every visa application in the new Temporary Skill Shortage Visa streams will be subject to mandatory labour market testing with limited exemptions; a new non-discriminatory workforce test; mandatory criminal history checks; a market salary rate assessment and a new two-year work experience requirement.
The Coalition is ensuring that Australian workers are given absolute priority for jobs while ensuring businesses will be able to temporarily access the critical skills they need to grow if skilled Australian workers are not available.
The 457 visa programme became yet another Labor mess, the Coalition’s changes will ensure it is cleaned up.