Local nursing and midwifery jobs will be protected by new laws for 457 work visas, according to the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF).
ANF Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas, said amendments to the Legislation, which passed through the Federal Parliament today, will mean that nurses and midwives will not be exempt from labour market testing.
Demonstrate they have tried to employ local nurses and midwives
“At a time of growing nurse and midwives shortages and the continued underemployment of local graduates, the ANF welcomes these reforms to the 457 visa system,” Ms Thomas said today.
“With nurses and midwives not exempt from labour market testing, employers will now have to demonstrate they have advertised and tried to employ local nurses and midwives before recruiting overseas workers on a 457 visa.
Stop passing the buck
“As Australia’s largest health union, the ANF has long been concerned that the use of 457 work visas to bring in workers from overseas could undermine training and job opportunities for local nursing and midwifery professionals.
“The Legislation will now at least offer greater protection for local nurses and midwives and and graduates by tightening requirements for 457 visas.”
The ANF’s ongoing national campaign “Stop passing the buck, Australia's nursing grads need jobs”, is calling on the Federal Government to find solutions to the growing shortage of nurses and midwives across the country.
Shortage of 20,000 aged care nurses
Ms Thomas said the ANF was now urging Prime Minister Rudd to work with State and Territory Governments and health stakeholders to solve the nursing and midwifery crisis and ensure that the delivery of safe patient care was an election priority.
“There’s a predicted shortage of 109,000 nurses by 2025. In aged care alone, there is a current shortage of 20,000 nurses to cope with a rapidly ageing population,” Ms Thomas added.