The Australian Computer Society stands by the Government’s decision to axe the 457 visa and place tougher restrictions on foreign workers being admitted to the ICT sector.
“Strengthening labour market testing was one of ACS’ key recommendations in our May 2014 submission to the Independent Review of Integrity in the Subclass 457 Programme," said ACS President Anthony Wong.
“We are pleased to see this is a key focus in the Prime Minister’s announcement,” he said.
Of the 218 jobs scrapped from the new TSS, or Temporary Skills Shortage visa, three are in the ICT sector.
ICT Support Technicians, ICT Support and Test Engineers, and Web Developers will no longer be globally sourced.
ACS President Anthony Wong
Mr Wong said skilled migration should not block local workers from entering the workforce.
“Skilled migration in all its forms should be a source of competitive advantage for any country. It should never be at the expense of the domestic labour market and attracting full workforce participation,” he said.
Web Developers, for which there were 118 visas granted in the 2015-16 period, are in the top 3 most affected jobs axed by the new scheme.
This was followed by ICT Support Technicians, of which 101 visas were granted in the same period, and 28 for ICT Support and Test Engineers.
However, this is an extremely small portion of the skilled ICT workforce at less than 2%.
The Government has recognised there is a skills gap in technical specialist roles in Australia, however said this will not hinder the sector under the new visa restrictions.
In a media release, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Arthur Sinodinos reaffirmed the Government’s commitment on skills for the science and tech community.
“Through the development of a strong STEM sector locally we can ensure our economy has the workers it needs for the future.
“It's important where possible our employers first look locally and train up local employees before considering other options," said Minister Sinodinos.