Federal Labor wants to force employers to advertise locally before seeking temporary foreign workers.
They will be required to advertise job opportunities for a minimum of four weeks as part of a shake-up of the 457 visa program.
People on temporary work visas were getting opportunities which should be going to permanent Australian citizens, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said while announcing the policy on Friday.
“We’re very committed to making sure Australians are not missing out on job opportunities,” he told reporters in Darwin.
The move would help address under-employment and the jobless rate in Australia, Mr Shorten said.
Labor would also increase sponsor fees to employ temporary skilled workers from overseas.
Workplaces where more than half the workforce was made up of 457 visa holders would pay an extra $1500 for each additional visa if they apply for more temporary workers.
Those with a smaller proportion of 457 visa workers would also face a sliding scale of fee increases.
The opposition is also keen to crack down on the exploitation of foreign workers.
“Working seven days a week, working below-award wages, exploited by employers – that should not happen, but it does,” workplace spokesman Brendan O’Connor said.
Labor would commission independent reviews into the student visa and working holidaymaker visa programs.
There would also be stronger safeguards in place to prevent exploitation of Pacific Island seasonal workers.
There have been claims some islanders were being under paid and facing unfair working conditions.
Source : SBS