The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, in his statements issued Monday 25 May again gave assurance that the temporary visa skilled workers program will not be used to undermine local labour.
Senator Evans said that the number of visa applications for subclass 457 visas lodged in April 2009 was the lowest rate in four years.
The number of temporary skilled migration visas granted in April 2009 was almost 23 per cent lower than in March and 64 per cent lower than in September last year, when the global financial crisis hit.
Although the number of workers coming to Australia under the sub-class 457 visa program has reduced significantly, Senator Evans said however that “there will continue to be demand for skills in some sectors, such as healthcare, so there will be a need for employers to access skilled overseas workers.”
Based on the latest DIAC statistics, primary applications lodged in 2008-09 year to 30 April 2009 totalled 48,090 as against 49,360 of comparable period in previous year.
During the same current period to 30 April 2009, 43,580 visa applications were granted.
The top three citizenship countries for primary applications granted were United Kingdom (9,770), India (6,320) and Philippines (4,070).
By occupation, primary applications granted to professionals were highest (25,550) followed by tradespersons and related workers (6,680), associate professionals (5,890) and managers and administrators (4,030).
New South Wales was the top destination of temporary visa holders with 13,240 primary applications granted in year to 30 April 2009, followed by Western Australia (9,370), Victoria (9,160) and Queensland (7,970).
By nominated position location, 37,970 were employed in non-government sector and 5,610 or 12 percent were employed in government sector.
As at 30 April 2009, the Philippines ranked number 2 in terms of citizenship countries for primary visa holders currently in Australia.
There were 8,820 Filipino workers in Australia holding temporary visas compared to 18,700 UK citizens who were in Australia also on a temporary workers visa. Coming very close to the Philippines was India with 8,440 nationals.