The purpose of the Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa program is to allow employers to fill short to medium term skill shortages by recruiting qualified workers from outside of Australia when they cannot find the same skilled workers locally.
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A number of changes to the subclass 457 program were introduced on 1 July 2013. These changes help to ensure that the intent of the subclass 457 program is respected by all applicants and users of the program.
As the training sponsor of the MIA, The Benchmark Training Helpline by pdtraining can give you free advice and guidance on how these changes to the training benchmarks affect your clients.
The new reforms to the subclass 457 visa program improve the integrity of the program without adversely impacting on the businesses who are using the program to fill genuine skill shortages.
Changes to requirement to train Australian citizens and permanent resident workers
Before 1 July 2013 – Businesses wishing to become standard business sponsors had to meet the training requirement by providing evidence of recent expenditure on training of staff who are Australian citizens and permanent residents.
The benchmarks required the business to commit to maintaining that level of expenditure in each fiscal year, for their term of approval as a sponsor.
After 1 July 2013 – Meeting the training benchmarks is now an ongoing and enforceable requirement rather than a commitment. In addition, sponsors will be obligated to maintain records relating to training. This includes start-up businesses (i.e. businesses trading for less than 12 months) who initially provide an auditable training plan. Previous sponsors must also demonstrate that they continued to meet the benchmarks during their sponsorship term when applying for a new sponsorship or varying the terms of their current sponsorship.
The Migration Act will now require the Minister to take all reasonable steps to ensure that certain sponsorship obligations are prescribed by the Migration Regulations; thereby enshrining in the Migration Act the kinds of sponsorship obligations which must be made in the Migration Regulations.
The Benchmark Training Helpline (pdtraining) is here to help guide you through the changes providing you free advice on how these changes to the training benchmarks affect your clients.