ATEC will continue to lobby government for a working holiday scheme for the US
Matthew Hingerty ATEC (Australian Tourism Export Council) MD says “The previous restrictions meant not only were backpackers required to move on after three months, but employers were unable to retain quality workers who were generally well-educated and highly skilled.”
“In addition, the training and administrative obligations on employers in taking on new employees had been making it increasingly uneconomical for them to employ people who were only able to stay three months.”
The changes should help alleviate some of the strain on employers, particularly in the hospitality industry, which faces a chronic shortage of workers, especially in seasonal locations.
“ATEC commends Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone for listening to and acting on industry concerns and also Tourism Minister Fran Bailey for her support…. the changes bring Australia further into line with competitor destinations such as New Zealand.”
Recent figures from the International Visitor Survey show that while Australia continues to be a desirable destination for backpackers and numbers are up, the amount of time and money backpackers spent in Australia has decreased.
The Visa changes come into effect in July. For more information, contact the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs at www.immi.gov.au.
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