Directors of Photography, Entertainers and TV presenters are amongst some of the roles being dropped from a list of skilled labour occupations following the government’s plan to scrap the 457 visa.
Two new visa programs will replace the 457 visa which allows employers to bring in skilled workers from overseas to fill the gap in the national labour market.
Nearly 25 jobs in the media and associated industries are listed among the 200 occupations to be removed.
The first of the new visa classes will include a short-term two-year permit to work in the country with no scope for permanent residency. A second visa class will have a four-year limit and will require a higher standard of English. Both will require prior work experience of about two years and a criminal record check, which is currently not required. Workers currently in Australia on the 457 visa will not be affected by the changes.
The jobs from the media and associated industries impacted include Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers, Art Director (Film, Television or Stage), Artistic Director, Author, Broadcast Transmitter Operator, Cinema or Theatre Manager, Communications Operator, Composer, Director of Photography, Entertainer or Variety Artist, Film, Television, Radio and Stage Directors, Graphic Pre-press Trades Worker, Media Producer (excluding Video), Multimedia Designer, Music Director, Music Professionals, Public Relations Manager, Radio Journalist, Radio Presenter, Singer Television Equipment Operator and Television Presenter.
But Opposition Leader Bill Shorten described the plans as little more than a category name-change.
“I’m skeptical that Mr Turnbull’s crackdown is actually a con job and it will make no real difference,’ he said today.
“That’s just shifting deck chairs on the proverbial sinking ship.”
In the past there has been speculation that some productions have been drawn heavily upon foreign crew through 457 Visas instead of Australian crew.
Both Screen Producers Australia and the Australian Directors Guild are watching the changes with interest, but deal more with 408 Visas when approving foreign producers and directors.
MEAA was contacted for comment.