Brendan O’ Connor, the Immigration Minister of Australia, responded to the government’s criticisms of 457 visas by providing samples on how the scheme has been rorted.
According to O’ Connor, the program under 457 skilled was riddled with rorts. But when asked to assess the problem, the Australian Government was not able to state the degree of rorting.
O’ Connor informed ABC’s program that one of the underlying predicaments with the scheme was the lack of mechanisms to gauge the intensity of rorting.
The Australian Government earlier announced the tightening of rules on 457 visa program to stamp out villain employers and to ensure that foreign nationals are not involved in the jobs queue.
The said move was criticized by the coalition that challenged the Australian Government to present pieces of evidence about the rorts.
O’Connor stated that the Australian Government facilitates the Australian skilled migration scheme however, the 457 program must be strengthened.
“Different ways” by which business establishments are rorting the system, however it is not easy to ascertain how rorting is taking place.
He further mentioned that there are various kinds of rorting. There are a lot of people pretending that they are skilled workers even though they are not.
“”Having people come over on a $92,000 job which will allow them to get around the language requirements, and then once they get here, referring them down to a much lower paid job.”
“There are many different ways you can rort. Hard to get to know exactly the number, but we know the scale is relatively significant and that’s why these reforms were put in place.”
O’ Connor stated that more than one hundred business establishments was prohibited from hiring workers, after abusing the 457 visa system.
He stated,”In Parramatta, we have a business who’s brought in project and program administrators who once they were in, were employed as security guards.”
“We have a small hospitality firm in Melbourne that says it needed to import an HR manager, to suggest there were no HR managers in the city of Melbourne.”
For the year 2011-12, there were around 125,000 workers employed in Australia on the basis of 457 visas. O’Connor denied the allegations that the 457 visa crackdown was a part of the plans of the Government to get the support of voters during its push in Sydney.