Study shows 457 visa holders aren't taking jobs from Australians

A new study has found that skilled immigrant workers on Australian 457 visas are not taking away resources sector jobs from Australians. Researchers at Perth's Edith Cowan University School of Management say there have been claims that foreign workers are reducing opportunities for skilled locals, but findings in their study reveal this is not the case.

Researchers say 457 visas are essential in the resources sector and help fill highly-skilled positions that cannot be filled locally. The 457 visa is very popular among skilled workers and Australian employers who wish to fill shortage skill occupations. Employers can sponsor a skilled worker under a 457 visa for any period of time from one day to four years. Family members are also welcome and are allowed to work and/or study during their stay in Australia.

"Some of the skills required are so specialised and only taught in one or two institutions globally, that the skill-set required is simply not available," research leader Susanne Bahn said.

Bahn used as an example helicopter engineers that are needed to maintain equipment for oil and gas projects, who require up to six specialised licences that are only taught in the UK and France.

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