Is the 457 visa program a stopgap?

Marcus L’Estrange writes: Re. “Unemployed not shut out by 457 holders” (yesterday). As a teacher and a former CES worker I know the unemployed are not rocket scientists, but I also know many can be trained up to fill many of the jobs that are now taken by 457 visa holders. When I lived and worked in Shanghai in 2007 I met an old chum from my CES days. He was running a 457 visa recruitment company. His line was that the 457 visas were only a short-term measure or a stopgap until Australia trained up its workforce. Trouble is, that was seven years ago, and the same argument is still being trotted out by the John Bands and employers who don’t want to pay for training or Liberal governments that have cut TAFE spending.

Finally, Band clearly has not read Tim Colebatch’s article The books have been cooked on 457 visas“, for if he did he would clearly see that there is clearly an overlap between the group of Australians competing for jobs at that 457 visa level and the group of Australians who are long-term unemployed.

We didn’t snub the Pope

Brad Johnson writes: Re. “Tips and rumours“. (yesterday) I think you will find that Sir William and Lady Deane met with Pope Francis two days ago. I am not sure in what capacity, as he is no longer the governor-general.