Australia’s largest health union, the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF), has welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to tighten 457 visa requirements, given the continued under-employment of local nursing and midwifery graduates.
“We have long held the view that the increased use of temporary 457 work visas to bring in workers from overseas to fill local labour shortfalls, in many instances, is nothing but a ‘band aid solution’,” ANF Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas, said today.
“The 457 visa system can undermine local training and job opportunities for local nursing professionals, particularly at a time of underemployment of Australian nursing and midwifery graduates.
“The fact is, the Federal Government must also being do more to solve Australia’s nursing crisis – with a predicted shortage of more than 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.”
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.
“The Government must work with State and Territory Governments to address the growing nursing crisis by funding a range of strategies which will ensure employment of graduate nurses and midwives and also importantly deliver safe patient care,” Ms Thomas explained.
“For example, one strategy is for the Prime Minister to waive HECS fees for nursing graduates who accept work in high-need workforce areas, such as the aged care sector and in remote and rural communities.”
The ANF with over 225,000 members is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.
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