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Govt backflip - Employers can satisfy testing by advertising the vacancy on LinkedIn and 1 other site

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Logo-LinkedIn.jpgForeign workers can be brought into Australia on the new Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) as long as employers tried to hire Aussies first … on LinkedIn.

In June, the Government tweaked its rules around the new 457, now dubbed the "Temporary Skill Shortage" visa, reversing an earlier decision to reject ads on the social network as part of labour market testing.

This testing — where employers are required to demonstrate they advertised locally for jobs — is designed to ensure Australians are given priority before overseas workers are hired.

At the end of 2017, 75,610 overseas workers were in Australia on a 457 temporary work visa.

The new rules mean an employer can satisfy testing by advertising in two places — for example on the Government job portal Jobactive and LinkedIn.

A three-week LinkedIn campaign costs approximately $500, while advertising on Jobactive is free.

'Backflip' in latest change

Labor immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann said this was another "backflip" from the Government and proof it "botched" changes to Australia's skilled migration program.

He said Labor would introduce an independent skills assessment body if Labor won Government that would determine "genuine" skills need.

The Government announced major changes to the 457 program last year, but since then has made several tweaks following a backlash from migrants and businesses.

The changes have lead to a reduction in 457 visas. 25,000 grants to foreign workers were made in the year to March compared with 46,000 in 2016-17.

A spokeswoman for Alan Tudge, the minister responsible for the program, declined to provide comment on the LinkedIn tweak, but emphasised that the rules were designed to strike an appropriate balance between prioritising Australian workers and recognising industry recruitment practices.

Social media advertisements had been accepted in the past but the old requirements were less prescriptive.

In March, rules were introduced that specifically required evidence of two advertisements with national reach booked within the previous 12 months.

The changes barred Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram as well as general classifieds sites like Gumtree.

As of June, LinkedIn ads are acceptable again and the window of the ads was reduced to six months.

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