There could be a whole host of different reasons for people not wanting to take one of these temporary jobs.....
Winemakers forced to recruit overseas workers over lack of applications from Adelaide’s jobless
- PETER JEAN POLITICAL REPORTER
- THE ADVERTISER
- MAY 18, 2015 9:53AM
The wine industry says it has a hard time recruiting workers in South Australia.
GRAPE growers and winemakers say they are being forced to hire foreign workers because people from Adelaide’s high-unemployment areas seem unwilling to move even temporarily to the country.
More than 105,000 temporary work visas were granted by the Department of Immigration to foreign nationals in 2013-14.The South Australian Wine Industry Association has told a Senate committee inquiry into temporary work visas that many of its members experience difficulty recruiting skilled and unskilled workers.Unskilled vintage jobs lasting between three and ten weeks can earn casual workers willing to undertake long shifts up to $1700 a week.Despite some Adelaide suburbs having an unemployment rate in excess of 32 per cent, employers still reported low numbers of domestic applicants from metropolitan areas.
“This is because potential applicants based in metropolitan areas may not be attracted to move either temporarily or permanently to a small country town in a regional area where a large number of South Australia’s wine industry employers are located,’’ the Wine Industry Association said in a written submission to the inquiry.“Therefore, in some circumstances wine industry employers may have no other option but to rely on temporary visa holders to fill vacancies.’’The wine industry opposes the imposition of additional rules and requirements aimed at restricting access to temporary work visas.Over the past decade, SA wine industry employers have used 457-class visas to employ about 38 winemakers and other skilled workers.The inquiry chaired by Labor Senator Sue Lines will begin holding public hearings in Melbourne today.Industry groups have already urged the inquiry not to recommend radical changes to temporary visa rules in response to allegations of foreign workers in some industries being underpaid or exploited.The Australians Mines and Metals Association said isolated incidents of alleged abuses of foreign workers on the 417 working visa program should be dealt with using the full force of the law.The Mining Association said the high cost of employing foreign nationals meant the Australians workers could not be cheaply displaced.“Skilled migration policy and regulation must be elevated beyond the level of opportunistic and borderline xenophobic populism,’’ the association said.The Salvation Army has called for greater safeguards for temporary workers from overseas, warning that same are fearful of being deported if they raise concerns about their employment.“Temporary migrant workers face compounded forms of social isolation that add to their vulnerability,’’ the Salvation Army said in its submission to the Senate inquiry.“Despite their growing numbers over recent years they remain largely invisible on the national landscape.’’Last week’s Federal Budget abolished a $20,000 tax-free threshold for backpackers on temporary working holiday visas.