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Abolishing 457 Visas Will Hit The hospitalityTrader Segment Hard.


Abolishing 457 Visas Will Hit The hospitalityTrader Segment Hard.

PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced he is scrapping the controversial 457 visa program for skilled migrants as part of a bid to tackle unemployment.

Employers within hospitality including tech industries will now face recruitment challenges with the Turnbull government’s ban on 457 visas.

As of March 31 last year, there were 97,766 primary 457 visa holders in Australia. Many of these workers (15,260) were from accommodation and food services businesses like Mr Rost’s bakery, but information, media and telecommunications workers also made up a large portion (10,030)

The 457 visas will be replaced with two new temporary skills visas — a two-year visa and a more specialised one for four years "targeted at higher skills". Employers will also have to do labour market testing in Australia before applying to sponsor overseas workers. The four-year category will have tighter criteria. Applicants will also have to meet a "higher standard" of English language skills.

One of the employers affected by the change is Andreas Rosti, owner of the Organic Bread Bar in the Sydney suburb of Paddington.

457 Visa worker Yuhwa Kim from South Korea and bakery owner Andreas Rost at the Organic Bread Bar in Paddington, NSW.

457 Visa worker Yuhwa Kim from South Korea and bakery owner Andreas Rost at the Organic Bread Bar in Paddington, NSW.Peter Braig

He employs four 457 visa workers and says it’s important to have it. The bottom line, he says, is that Australians aren’t that keen on starting work in the early hours of the morning.

"I'm originally from Germany and it's similar there, if a country is wealthy physical work becomes unattractive," Mr Rosti told the Australian Financial Review.

"In large bakeries people can start work at 7am... but in a small bakery you have to start in the night, so I think it's more difficult for a small business to find people.”

He said local workers would come in and train in artisan baking for three or four months. But after six months, they would leave the small business after six months.

Foreign workers, he said, would usually stay for two years.

"I also tried for more than a year to get an apprentice. If there aren't any 457 visas I'm not sure how I will run my business."


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