Changes to the 457 visa program will constrain profit for construction contractors

In April 2017, the Federal Government announced plans to axe the existing 457 visa program, which is intended to help employers fill skills gaps. Instead, they plan to replace it with the Temporary Skill Shortage visa. 

The new Temporary Skill Shortage visa is designed to free up jobs for skilled Australian workers, who feel they are being unfairly denied opportunities by employers looking to save on wage costs. 

However, this is not the case for the construction industry in Australia, which relies heavily on overseas workers to complete projects. Civil, Commercial and Residential sectors have all felt the effects of the skills shortage over the past few years with the 457 visa in place.

With the building boom there has been an increased demand for skilled trades and a lack of suitable Australians to do the work. This is reflected in the number of trades that are included on the primary MTSSL list. Here’s a few examples:

  • Bricklayer
  • Carpenter / Carpenter & Joiner / Joiner
  • Plumber
  • Fitter / Fitter – Welder / Welder
  • Electrician / Electrical Engineer
  • Gasfitter
  • Drainer
Various groups are lobbying the government because the impact seems to be detrimental across many industries. We’re interested to know how you feel? Do you think foreigners are taking your jobs, or are they a crucial part of running your business?