457 visa inquiry will uncover and fix problems with program

A SENATE committee charged with examining the use of 457 visas will "cut through the rhetoric and politics", the man who pushed for the inquiry says.

The inquiry, which arose from a successful motion by independent Senator Nick Xenophon, will look into the role of 457 visas in the Australian workforce, current skills shortages and whether there are appropriate workplace rights protections for people working under these visas.

"We need clear and impartial information about this program so we know what problems there are and how to fix them," Senator Xenophon said.

"We know there are people who need work, but we aren't training people in the occupations where it's needed.

"This inquiry will give us a better idea of what benefit it provides to the economy, what training we need to do to deal with long-term skills shortages."

Sensing Australians were opposed to overuse of 457 visas, the Federal Government has introduced measures in recent weeks to crack down on their use.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said repeatedly the government would put the interests of Australian workers first.

The Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee is due to report in early June.

Topics:  457 visas, inquiry, nick xenophon



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