Workers without borders: The rise of temporary migrant labour

ABC Radio National Earshot programme highlighting the shift in the Australian labour market away from permanent to temporary labour migration.

From the programme: 

“The introduction of 457 visas was a bipartisan policy conceived by the Keating government and implemented under John Howard to plug skills gaps in the labour market. The visas are used in many sectors, including the mining industry, state governments and increasingly the hospitality sector. Today, 7 per cent of Australia’s workforce are on temporary visas, and that figure is 20 per cent among 20 to 24-year-olds.”

“Not everyone has welcomed the change, however. Dave Noonan, national secretary of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, the CFMEU, has concerns.

‘It places workers in inherently vulnerable circumstances and means that often their tenure in the country is tied to their continued employment,’ he says. ‘This gives employers enormous power and sadly we often see that power being exploited.’”

Read or listen the full programme here

Photo credit: Jes

Photo credit: Jes

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