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Australia-China free trade agreement will create jobs says migration institute

by Ray Clancy on August 31, 2015

in Jobs in Australia

Australia’s new free trade agreement with China is set to create job opportunities for overseas workers and people in the country, according to migration agents.

The bilateral China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) is already the subject of controversy with claims that it will allow Chinese companies to bring in cheap overseas labour but the Migration Institute of Australia said it should be welcomed.

CHINAustraliaThe institute believes that ChAFTA will provide business and employment opportunities for Australians with one of the world’s largest economies, China. But it believes that the record needs to be set straight on the requirements of companies in securing visas for its skilled overseas workers.

The ChAFTA requires that employers will not be permitted to bring in skilled overseas workers unless there is clear evidence of a genuine labour market need, as determined by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

The Migration Institute of Australia is the professional association which represents the registered migration agents and lawyers who, in the majority of cases, will be providing advice and assistance to companies who wish to sponsor skilled overseas workers.

To provide evidence of a genuine labour market need, labour market testing would be required which includes the provision of mandatory evidence such as information about attempts to recruit Australian workers, advertising other recruitment attempts.

The institute pointed out that Investment Facilitation Arrangements (IFAs) will provide certainty that investors will be able to access skilled overseas workers, under Australian employment conditions, but only when suitable local workers cannot be found. Australian workers will always be given first priority.

‘There will be some positions which will be exempt from skills assessments but the workers will still be required to meet licensing requirements before they can work without supervision in Australia,’ said national president Angela Chan.

‘There is a need for people to resist using terms such as cheap Chinese labour and Chinese imports as this insulting and intemperate language does not enhance the debate but only diminishes Australia’s important place internationally and our prominent role in the Asian Century,’ she pointed out.

‘Jobs for Australian workers must always take priority when deciding company’s labour requirements and I am confident that the unions and other stakeholders will work closely with Fair Work Australia to ensure, when skilled overseas workers are recruited to work in Australia, that they are employed under Australian employment conditions,’ she added.

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