Australia's IT Sector Is Using Far More 457 Visas Than Two Years Ago

Australia’s technology industry uses heaps of skilled migrant visas, or 457s, which are the subject of intense political debate.

Photo: Getty/Spencer Platt

According to a new study released today (and reported by the AFR) by the Australian Workplace and Productivity Agency, some 9271 workers classified as computer professionals were awarded 457 temporary skilled migration visas during the 2011/2012 financial year.

That’s up from 7861 in 2010/2011, and 5327 the year before.

As companies cut IT roles, it looks like the increased use of the visas is to replace headcount with experience.

“The reason some companies have gone for 457s is not because of the educational background but some of the people they perceive to have more experience,” AWPA chief executive Robin Shreeve told the AFR.

He said the tech sector was important to Australia’s economy, and maybe if conditions and the IT industry’s perceptions were better, it would be able to find more home-grown experienced staff.

“It’s a bit ironic that lots of undergraduates work up to 20 hours a week to pay for themselves but they’re often working in bars and restaurants,” he told the newspaper.

“Employers sometimes whinge about not having work-ready graduates but you also need graduate-ready employers.”

Read more about it here.

Now read: Here Are The Names Microsoft Rejected Before Settling On ‘Xbox’

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