Friday, 24 June 2016

 

Issue #2 June

 

TOP STORY

Darwin reseller fined for exploiting visa workers
 

ISSUES OF THIS MONTH

Darwin reseller fined $430,000 for exploiting visa workers

 

Education and health are most important issues in Australia, new poll finds

 

International students could face higher fees for TAFE courses in Australia

 

Australia could become regional talent hub: Mercer's 2016 cost of living survey

 

Available Jobs in Australia

 

Darwin reseller fined $430,000 for exploiting visa workers

Darwin reseller, Hallmark Computer, has been penalised $430,000 for breaching sponsorship obligations of three 457 visa holders.

The court found that the breaches involved "calculated, systematic, repeated and callous infringements of the sponsorship conditions and the rights of the employees" and were "a cynical misuse and exploitation" of the company's position.

Hallmark was also ordered to pay more than $83,000 in restitution to the workers and its sole director, Ashok Alexander, was also personally penalised $86,000.

The court found that the company from October 2012 to November 2014, underpaid the 457 workers and also illegal recovered costs from them by requiring them to repay some of their monthly salary. One of the employees was also being told to work a different occupation than what they were initially sponsored for.

The court action followed an investigation by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection into the company.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, said the judgement showed the consequences of underpaying sponsored employees are very significant.

"Employers who do not adhere to the sponsorship obligations risk fines and penalties, administrative sanctions through to criminal penalties ordered by the Federal Court," Dutton said.

"The 457 visa program is designed to help businesses recruit skilled workers from overseas where there are genuine skills shortages locally.

"It is not a means to exploit foreign workers or bring in workers on a visa when local workers can fill vacant positions."

"Measures in the 457 program are intended to protect overseas skilled workers from exploitation by ensuring they are paid the equivalent Australian market wages and conditions as local workers."

 
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Education and health are most important issues in Australia, new poll finds

Health and education important issues in Australia

Australians are more positive about the benefits of immigration but education and health and the most important issues facing the country today, according to a new poll.

Some 885 named education as being a very important issue while 83% names health, 79% domestic violence and 77% the economy.

With the election coming up in a couple of weeks, the annual Lowy Institute poll, which seeks to ascertain the views of voting age adults in Australia on the most important national issues, found that people are dispirited about domestic politics.

They are also disappointed in regard to Australia's foreign policy and not keen on Donald Trump being the next President of the United States, indeed the poll found that 45% believe that "Australia should distance itself from the United States if it elects a president like Donald Trump". While 51% say Australia should remain close to the United States regardless of who is elected US President.

Other issues that make headlines, such as refugees and asylum-seekers, immigration, climate change and China's importance in the world are of significantly lower priority for today's Australians.

When it comes to immigration, the Government's tough stance on turning back boats full of asylum seekers continues to attract strong support. Nearly two out of three voters believed stopping the boats meant Australia could take more refugees through the United Nations.

The poll also found that support for this policy did not mean that Australian's are against immigration and indeed the majority see it as good for the economy. Some 73% agreed that overall, immigration has a positive impact on the economy of Australia and 72% that accepting immigrants from many different countries makes Australia stronger.

When asked about the potential negative impacts of immigration, only a minority, 40%, agreed that overall, there is too much immigration to Australia and the same number felt that immigrants are a burden on the social welfare system. Just 35% agreed that immigrants take away jobs from other Australians.

In 2016, some 70% of Australians are either "very optimistic" or "optimistic" about Australia's economic performance in the world over the next five years, a seven point increase on last year's result, which represented the single largest fall in optimism in the firm's polling history.

However, the overall level of optimism this year is still 16 points lower than its peak at the height of the financial crisis during 2009/2010 when 86% of Australians were optimistic about the future of Australia's economy.

Despite this year's lift in optimism overall, the proportion of Australians who are very optimistic about the economy remains at 9%, unchanged since last year.

 

International students could face higher fees for TAFE courses in Australia

Higher TAFE courses fees

International students studying for certain Technical and Further Education (TAFE) qualifications in Australia could face paying higher fees.

In the run up to the general election in July it has been revealed that the Labour Party has plans to charge students thousands of dollars in upfront course fees which would affect both domestic and overseas students.

According to Scott Ryan, current Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, a plan to cap fees will result in upfront fees for some TAFE courses, for example if the course costs more than $8,000.

He fears this could lead to students having to choose between the course that best leads them to a job and the course they can afford.

Through the Department of Education, the Australian Government offers Australia Awards Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships for TAFE vocational education and training courses at Diploma, Advanced Diploma and Associate Degree levels. This can provide financial help with tuition fees and living expenses.

Students studying a Diploma of Website Development at TAFE Queensland in Brisbane could face paying up to $6,900 upfront and students studying a Diploma of Building and Construction at Victoria's Chisholm Institute up to $8,453.

TAFE directors around the country and representatives of private training providers said that any change should not be promised without a full consultation and also research to find out how it would affect students, especially those from abroad who face higher costs.

 
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AUSTRALIA COULD BECOME REGIONAL TALENT HUB: MERCER’S 2016 COST OF LIVING SURVEY

Australia could become regional talent hub

Despite volatile global markets and growing security issues, organisations continue to leverage global expansion strategies to remain competitive and grow. Yet, few organisations are prepared for the challenges that world events have on their business, including the impact on the cost of expatriate packages.

Mercer's 22nd annual Cost of Living Survey confirms that factors including currency fluctuations, cost inflation for goods and services, and instability of accommodation prices, contribute to the cost of expatriate packages for employees on international assignments.

Australian cities have all dramatically dropped in the 2016 Cost of Living rankings, primarily due to currency fluctuations against the US dollar. Sydney was the highest ranking local city at 42, down from 31 in 2015. Perth (69) and Melbourne (71) followed, falling from 48 and 47 in 2015 respectively. Brisbane (96), Canberra (98) and Adelaide (102) all fell more than 30 places from 2015.

"However, dropping in the cost of living rankings is not all bad news for Australia," says Lorraine Jennings, Mercer's global mobility practice leader in Australia and New Zealand.

"The drop in rankings of Australian cities against Asian cities is particularly good news. Five of the top ten most expensive cities for expats are in Asia, which means Australia could be more cost-effective and attractive for businesses to send employees on international assignments, particularly those doing business in the Asia Pacific region.

"Companies are increasingly aligning their international assignment policies with career and succession planning strategies. They are looking for more opportunities to send early career, high-potential employees and strategic business leaders abroad as part of their career development. Being a more cost-effective option than some other cities in the region means Australian cities could become a rich breeding ground for talent for multi-national companies," said Ms Jennings.

"Despite technology advances and the rise of a globally connected workforce, deploying expatriate employees remains an increasingly important aspect of a competitive multinational company's business strategy," said Ilya Bonic, Senior Partner and President of Mercer's Talent business.

"However, with volatile markets and stunted economic growth in many parts of the world, a keen eye on cost efficiency is essential, including a focus on expatriate remuneration packages. As organisations' appetite to rapidly grow and scale globally continues, it is necessary to have accurate and transparent data to compensate fairly for all types of assignments, including short-term and local plus status," said Mr Bonic.

According to Mercer's 2016 Cost of Living Survey, Hong Kong tops the list of most expensive cities for expatriates, pushing Luanda, Angola to second position. Zurich and Singapore remain in third and fourth positions, respectively, whereas Tokyo is in fifth, up six places from last year. Kinshasa, ranked sixth, appears for the first time in the top 10, moving up from thirteenth place.

Other cities appearing in the top 10 of Mercer's costliest cities for expatriates are Shanghai (7), Geneva (8), N'Djamena (9), and Beijing (10). The world's least expensive cities for expatriates, according to Mercer's survey, are Windhoek (209), Cape Town (208), and Bishkek (207).

 

Available Jobs in Australia

Jobs in Australia

Job2Go is a local recruitment company based in Adelaide, Queensland and Sydney, and has been providing staffing solutions and human resource services to small to large sized companies throughout Australia. We are hiring for the following positions.

Registered Pharmacist

We have a fantastic opportunity for a APHRA Registered Pharmacist to join our team at Bundaberg and Gladstone, QLD. Pharmacists applying need to have a positive attitude and are result-oriented. Flexibility to work weekends and public holidays on a rotating roster will also be a requirement of the role. Forward dispensing and counselling customers will also be a major part as well as assisting in the shop area. Must be willing to relocate.

Sous Chef

Qualified Sous chef needed in Brisbane region

  • Chefs must have at least a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery (or equivalent Chef trade qualifications)
  • Must have previous experience
  • Worked in a high-pressure environment
  • Someone who is goal oriented

Cooks

Qualified Cooks/Chefs for North Qld.

  • Willing to relocate is a must.
  • Excellent wages and conditions.
  • Immediate start for the right candidates.
  • Sponsorship available.

Tyre Fitter

Our client has an opportunity in the Brisbane region for a tyre fitter to commence immediately.

  • Previous tyre fitting experience required (passenger & truck)
  • Must have a driver's licence
  • Be prepared to assist with other duties
  • Visa sponsorship may be available
  • Attractive salary

Contact Job2Go on 1300 562246. If you are interested in any of these positions, please send your resume to jobs@job2go.org

Alternatively you can check our website for further details www.job2go.org

 
 

We hope that you have found the information in this issue of our newsletter to be enriching and useful. Stay tuned for our next publication and if you would like to talk to us directly, please do not hesitate to email service@noborders-group.com. In addition, if you would like your contact details updated or removed from this distribution list or you know someone who would like to be added, please email us on the same address.

"The only limits to being the person you truly want to be are your own self-limiting beliefs and thoughts. In every moment, you have the power to choose your life"

 
 

No Borders Group

Email: service@noborders-group.com
Phone: (+61) 07 3876 4000
Web: www.noborders-group.com

 
 

NO BORDERS Universal Migration
Level 4, 20 Park Road
Milton, Brisbane - 4064
Queensland
AUSTRALIA