Temporary overseas workers employed in New South Wales will be given greater protection in the workplace under a joint Commonwealth-State agreement announced recently.
The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Senator Chris Evans recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between his department and WorkCover NSW that will strengthen the monitoring of employers hiring overseas workers on subclass 457 visas.
Under the agreement, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and WorkCover NSW will exchange names and addresses of businesses that employ subclass 457 visa holders, and information about workplace safety incidents.
Senator Evans said the agreement will further strengthen the ability to protect temporary overseas workers from exploitation by unscrupulous employers.
Recent data shows there has been a 27 per cent increase in the temporary skilled migration program for 2007-08.
In total, 110 570 visas were granted to temporary skilled workers and their dependants in 2007-08 compared to 87 310 in 2006-07.
The number of primary visa holders jumped 24% in 2007-08 to a record 58 050 compared to 46 680 in the 2006-07 program.
New South Wales was the biggest user with a total of 20 480 primary subclass 457 visa grants.