Jacqui Lambie claims to know reason for high Australian unemployment rates

Jacqui Lambie has made her distaste of the 457 visas approved by the government quite apparent in the media. In
Photo credit: Youtube (NW)

Jacqui Lambie has made her distaste of the 457 visas approved by the government quite apparent in the media.

In this week’s Q&A, she claimed there were ‘over a million 457s out there’ – stating this to be the other reason there were no jobs in the country, apart from apprenticeships going wayside.

When ABC Fact Check ran the numbers, they found the estimate of ‘over a million’ to be way off the mark. Based on research from government data, statistics from the Department of Immigration show that the currently valid 457 visas (both primary and secondary) total to 415,103 – less than half of the estimate made by Jacqui.

The 457 visa was introduced under the Howard Coalition government in 1996 to enable employers to address labour shortages by bringing in genuinely skilled overseas workers where they cannot find appropriately skilled Australians. Of the 415,103 visas granted, the total number of people in Australia actually using the visa as of March 31, 2016 was only 177,390. Within a population of over 24 million people, that is a really minimal number – not even 1% – and using it as a reason to explain unemployment seems unfair.

A major problem with the focus on a political debate about the 457 visas is that real issues are not being discussed. If the purpose of the 457 visas is to fill a skill shortage gap in the market, what is the government doing for the Australian population? Why are there no discussions about investments into preparing local Australians appropriately for the workforce, to reduce the need for overseas workers? Is the government trying to hide from their real responsibilities by raising a debate of a complex issue?

The video of her statement can be viewed here.

Should pollies do better research? Do you think honest comments is what the political scene needs?

  1. How about for a start stop importing potential enemies who have a 85 % unemployment rate How about the money ,our money to be spent on australians

  2. Neta Williams  

    She is correct in the fact that these people are doing the jobs. I came from a small fruit growing area and on a visit recently noticed how many where there. But by the same token I saw many Australians young and old who could have been doing the job walking the streets and receiving benefits. We have to admit some Australians just do not want to work.

    • I worked in Jobs Australia and when we suggested people get picking jobs they laughed in our faces. Without those visas we wouldn’t even have a fruit industry.

    • Robert Latham  

      We raise our kids and they have high ex[ectations because of media hype and the lack of discipline because of the nanny state they are raised in. So they cannot cope with hard work. Asians and other cultures know what its like to to work for low pay. You have to work hard to make money and be disciplined not to spend it on rubbish.

  3. Het  

    There has been a lot of discussion regarding there are not enough packers for the strawberry season in the upcoming months around Caboolture Queensland why is this so when this area and surrounds has a very high unemployment rate why can’t the government hire buses to take the unemployed to do the picking and packing I thought there was a work for the dole scheme in place instead of talking lets get the youth working and find ways for them to do so

  4. colin  

    totally agree with her, why do we need to give 457 visas to kitchen hand/ taxi drivers and yes the fruit picking could be done by the “homeless” and the beggars in the street who claim not to have money or get benefits?

    • Bill  

      Seriously? Will you employee people from the streets to do your household work even if its free? Really?

  5. ABC Facts – why on earth would you believe anything from the ABC. Truth is not in their guidelines unless it supports their own agenda.

  6. Geoff  

    We should train our unemployed people and not give jobs to low wage imports.

  7. facebook_nancy.brenton.75  

    I might be totally wrong but I think many Australians think it is beneath their dignity to do the menial jobs while the 457’s are overjoyed to have work.

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