Monday, April 14, 2008


Skilled migration program to be reviewed

April 14, 2008 - 7:05AM, smh

The exploitation of migrant workers, salary levels and English language requirements will be examined in a six-month federal review of the temporary skilled migrant program.

The federal government has appointed industrial relations commissioner Barbara Deegan to head the review.

Immigration and Citizenship Minister Chris Evans said Ms Deegan would draw on her extensive expertise in the industrial relations sector to review the 457 visa program and provide options to improve its integrity.

The review would address concerns about the exploitation of migrant workers, salary levels and English language requirements, he said.

"Ms Deegan will consult with overseas workers, union and industry representatives as well as relevant commonwealth, state and territory agencies," Senator Evans said in a statement.

Ms Deegan will take leave from her current position as commissioner of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission to undertake the independent review.

She will head a working party of industry and trade union leaders.

The review will look at measures to strengthen the integrity of the temporary skilled migration program; the employment conditions that apply to workers employed under the program; the adequacy of measures to protect 457 visa holders from exploitation; and the English language requirements for the granting of migration workers' visas.

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