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Labor's crackdown on skilled migration rorts.



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LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION THE HON KIM C BEAZLEY MP

LABOR’S CRACKDOWN ON SKILLED MIGRATION RORTS 13 October 2006

Worksite visits and spot checks will enforce tough new foreign worker audits a Beazley Labor Government will deliver to crack down on skilled migration rorts.

As Mr Howard undermines the 457 skilled migrant visa scheme, there are more and more examples in the media of workers being cruelly exploited.

I will not tolerate this exploitation.

And I will not tolerate them being used to undercut Australian wages and conditions.

Under the Training Australia Partnership, Labor’s foreign worker audits will: • stop exploitation of foreign workers, especially in relation to their workplace safety, wages or conditions; • ensure that Australian wages and conditions are not being driven down by

unfair competition from foreign workers; • check that firms bringing foreign workers into Australia under temporary skilled migration are actually using them in the appropriate skilled areas, not as cheap unskilled labour; and • be a combination of random checks and checks targeted at specific

businesses and industries where rorts are prevalent.

These audits will be conducted by the Department of Immigration. They will complement our existing policies that the Training Australia Partnership will: • review the skilled migration program to assess companies who are over-reliant on importing skilled labour, without doing their part to secure the long

term skills base in their field; and • make sure companies fulfil their obligations to train Australians first.

This includes putting in place the right incentives so all parties benefit, as well as putting in place the mutual obligation.

I support skilled migration - but let’s get the balance right.

John Howard has turned away 300 000 young Australians from TAFE while bringing in 270 000 extra skilled workers.

Labor will get the skilled migration balance right and end skilled migration rorts.

The Government should work with business to help train young people. Businesses must not over rely on skilled migration.

So I have asked my Shadow Minister for Education and Training, Jenny Macklin, and my Shadow Minister for Immigration, Tony Burke along with my economic team to develop detailed plans for working with business to achieve this.

SYDNEY FRIDAY 13 OCTOBER 2006 Contact: Colin Campbell: 0407 787 181

Go to http://www.alp.org.au/policy/index.php for more details of the Training Australia Partnership and Labor’s Skills Blueprint.