Casual work blamed for skills crisis

An article on ABC News online today discusses research conducted by Professor John Buchanan from Sydney University’s Workplace Research Centre and evidence he will give at public hearings in Sydney today at the Australian Council of Trade Unions’ inquiry into job insecurity and skills crisis.

The key facts are:

  • One in five people employed on a casual basis
  • Australia has one of the highest levels of casual workers in the OECD
  • Most affected is the training of younger workers in the construction sector
  • Businesses have figured out the processes by which they can shift the risks of employment
  • Australia’s skills shortage problem is not being fixed due to the way the construction industry is organised
  • Inquiry also expected to hear from several banking workers facing job losses

Another enquiry on the 20th February 2012 in Perth WA also discusses the Unions and workers concerns about casual employees lack of job security, sick leave and annual leave.

The article also appears on ABC New online and the key facts are:

  • One in four employees work without sick leave or annual leave entitlements
  • Employees can experience difficulties accessing house and getting personal loans
  • Employees feel they cannot take sick leave as they won’t get paid and not sure if they can make ends meet

From our professional experience prospective migrants seeking employer sponsorship in the construction industry in occupations such as plumbers, bricklayers, electricians, painter and tilers find it extremely difficult to find Australian businesses willing to sponsor as the majority of their employees are casuals or sub contracted and to obtain sponsorship they must be employed full time and offered working conditions no less favourable then the regulations under the Fair Work Act 2009. The vast majority of prospective migrants overseas have this perspective that there is a skills shortage in Australia in the majority of trades, which in most cases is correct, however overcoming the employment practices in Australia to meet Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) visa criteria is proving the major hurdle.

Temporary workers in Australia on student visas and working holiday 417 visas who work in the construction and hospitality industries are mainly employed on a casual basis and when their working holiday is due to expire and they would like to apply for permanent residency, then find it difficult to meet visa criteria. We highly advise that any temporary workers in Australia discuss their future visa options with any current or prospective employers to see if employers are open to possible sponsorship under the 457 temporary visa, employer nomination scheme or regional sponsored migration scheme programs.

If you have any questions regarding the skills crisis, Australian visas or would like to begin your visa application, please contact us today.


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