CRACKING DOWN: Candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson and Labor MP Shayne Neumann
CRACKING DOWN: Candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson and Labor MP Shayne Neumann contributed

Labor's tough new plan for more job opportunities in QLD

LOCAL workers are set for a boost if Labor's plan to overhaul 457-style visas and create more training opportunities is successful.

Labor MP Shayne Neumann was in Rockhampton to make the announcement with Labor candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson.

Mr Neumann said multi-national businesses employing overseas workers had lead to poor working conditions and wage stagnation in regional Australia

"Scott Morrison has failed to invest in training and skills for regional workers, meaning employers are relying on 457-style visas and temporary workers to fill jobs and deal with skill shortages,” MrNeumann said.

"Labor wants to address skills shortages, rather than finding ways around them.”

Laborcandidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson said investing in the upskilling of local workers would add to the prosperity of the region.

"The number of apprentices and trainees in Australia has declined by almost 150,000 since the LNP came to government, and apprenticeships in Queensland are down by 34 per cent,” MrRobertson said.

Labor planned Queensland Skills Guarantee as part of a $1billion investment into rebuilding TAFE.

The plan promises 20,000 TAFE places with no upfront fees as well as incentives for an extra 30,000 apprentices in areas of skills shortages.

Entry-level programs would also receive funding with 2000 pre-apprenticeship places for young Queenslanders and 4000 advanced-entry adult apprenticeships.

Mr Robertson said the program would be conducted in conjunction with the Queensland Government.

"Labor will work with the Queensland Government to renew and rebuild TAFE in Queensland through the $200million Building TAFE for the Future Fund,” MrRobertson said.

Labor would also look to promote a healthy local jobs market through the Local Workers Package, which would look to overhaul the migrant labour system, he said.

Labor's plan includes increasing the temporary skilled migration income threshold as soon as possible to $65,000 a year with annual indexing, which would be the lowest wage a worker on a 457-style visa could be paid.

Labor would also implement measures to protect temporary foreign workers from "dodgy bosses”.

The Local Workers Package would also aim to crack down on unqualified workers by strengthening enforcement of skills assessment and occupational licencing requirements in occupations where it is mandatory to hold a licence.

"We will establish an independent Australian Skills Authority to restrict temporary work visas to jobs where there is a genuine skills shortage, putting an end to phony labour market testing,” MrNeumann said.

"Labor will also introduce the Australian Jobs Test to prevent labour agreements being entered into unless they support or create jobs for Australian workers.”

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