The contents of this article are correct as at 15 April 2011.
The Federal Government is contemplating a new migration scheme for semi-skilled workers to be employed on million-dollar mining and construction projects, according to the Sydney Morning Herald and Queensland’s Couriermail newspapers.
Which companies are eligible?
This fast-tracked program, currently dubbed Enterprise Migration Agreements, would be available for employer-sponsored migrants working on projects in the resources sector which cost more than $1 billion and employ over 1000 workers.
Which workers are eligible?
Semi-skilled workers in the construction and mining industries who will be sponsored by eligible companies.
What are the costs to the employer?
At this stage, it appears as though the scheme differs from the current 457 program, by requiring an additional $5,000 from employers (per semi-skilled worker nominated) which contributes to training.
At present, employers sponsoring 457 visa-holders must demonstrate to the Department that they meet the training benchmarks. This involves either a contribution to an industry training fund of at least 2% of recent payroll expenditure, or business expenditure on the training of Australian employees amounting to at least 1% of recent payroll expenditure.
The $5,000 training requirement contemplated by the new migration scheme would be required on top of the current training benchmarks.
According to the reports, the Federal Government is currently negotiating with mining companies and unions and consulting widely about the scheme, ahead of the scheme’s introduction in the May federal budget.
If you are interested in employer-sponsored migration to Australia, or have any questions concerning this article, please contact Visa Lawyers Australia .