Migrant Scheme Fails To Fix Skills Shortage: Australian Labour Party

Migrant scheme fails to fix skills shortage: ALP
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Last Update: Wednesday, August 16, 2006. 7:39pm (AEST)

The Federal Opposition has questioned whether people coming to Australia as temporary skilled migrants are working in areas of highest need.

The Opposition Leader in the Senate, Chris Evans, says last year's figures show the migrant visa scheme is not addressing skills shortages.

He says it is instead a “free-for-all” for employers to find new sources of cheap labour.

“Forty-three waiters, 77 domestic housekeepers, 251 personal assistants entered Australia on the visa last year,” he said.

But Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone has hit back, accusing Labor of scare-mongering by using the term “foreign worker”.

“We've now got a Leader of the Opposition that tells Australian parents, 'watch out, the foreigners are coming to take your children's jobs',” she said.

Senator Vanstone says the average income of temporary migrants is $65,000 per year.

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