The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) strongly supports the spirit and intent of 457 visa requirements.
457 visa arrangements are used legitimately by the ICT sector to meet a genuine gap that currently exists between the domestic supply and demand of ICT skills. Individuals who hold 457 visas not only fill real and immediate needs within ICT organisations, but also make a significant and positive contribution to the Australian economy – generating more revenue than cost.
Allegations that the ICT sector is one of the worst offenders in what the Federal Government says is the "overuse of 457 visas” are exactly that: allegations. To date, no data has been offered up to substantiate these claims.
AllA does not support any organisation that circumvents the very clear regulatory and administrative process requirements in place to recruit employees via 457 visas.
The skills shortage in the ICT sector is both an immediate and long-term concern. ICT job numbers are expected to double between 1999 and 2015 while ICT enrolments in training and education have fallen nationally by 55 per cent over the last decade. 457 visas solve the immediate skills shortage issue local organisations are facing. The longer term solution to this issue is systemic changes in ICT education and skills development.
Suzanne Campbell, CEO, Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA)
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