The technology sector has expressed concerns as the federal government of Australia has decided to abolish the 457 visa program for migrant workers, saying that it would create skill shortages in the country and make it less competitive globally.
The largest chunk of 457 visa users belonged to the tech industry. Atlassian, an Australian enterprise software company, said that about 25 percent of its 1,000 workers were currently availing that visa.
The Sydney Morning Herald quotes Karen Lawson, chief executive of Slingshot, Australia’s start-up accelerator, as saying that this decision will bring the tech industry to a halt.
She added that there were companies worldwide which were vying for tech talent and companies from Australia companies would not be in a position to compete with their counterparts in the US, Asia or Europe if they are unable to attract the crème de la crème of workers.
Kelly Tagalan, co-founder of CodeClub Australia, who came on a 457 visa, said that their organisation had tutored more than 50,000 Australian children till now in order to get the country ready for the future. She said that Australia was facing a skill shortage and she was not able to comprehend how that gap would be filled in the short term.
Meanwhile, the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) said that its members had depended on 457 visas to fill the crucial skill shortage gap in Australia.
Rob Fitzpatrick, AIIA chief executive, said that although ICT was the fastest growing sector of Australia, they were seeing skilled workers migrate to other countries in this very competitive market.
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