Less foreign workers entering the mining industry

The number of mining-related 457 visa applications has dropped significantly as demand for foreign workers in the industry slows.

The West Australian reports applications for civil engineers, project managers, and geologists fell five per cent in the first half of the 2012-13 financial year.

Applications for construction workers on the 457 scheme have also dropped almost nine per cent.

According to The West Australian the two categories now account for around 43 per cent of all 457 applications in WA, down from 50 per cent 18 months ago.

The drop in demand has also translated to lower wages for foreign workers in the mining industry.

In 2010-11 the average package for a foreign miner in WA was $151,000. It is now $134,000.

But remuneration in the wider mining sector is still high, and recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the mining industry continues to pay the highest wages in the country.

Overall applications for 457 visas around Australia are still on the rise, but workers are now entering sectors like accommodation, food services, and IT at higher rates than the mining industry.

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