The abolition of Australia’s 457 visa scheme should not harm the engineering industry, according to Engineers Australia.
The group has projected there will remain a strong demand for overseas-born engineers as infrastructure projects continue to boom. Changes to the 457 visa scheme should not jeopardise this, although some other engineering sectors could be affected.
Engineers Australia has noted that while 57 per cent of Australia’s engineers are born overseas, the majority of these have moved to Australia via the permanent migration program rather than 457 visas.
Specifically, 13,265 engineers came to Australia through permanent migration from 2015-2016, compared to 6957 through 457 visas.
Engineers Australia spokesperson Brent Jackson told Financial Review that the proposed new visa scheme should ensure the availability of overseas engineers to work on big infrastructure projects, as under this scheme, civil, structural, transport and electrical engineers will still be able to work in Australia.
Chemical, petroleum, materials and industrial engineers however, will need to be sourced locally, which could have an effect on these sectors.