A medium-sized steel fabrication business in Broome, servicing the vast Pilbara and Kimberly regions in Western Australia, faced a challenge not unfamiliar to many regional employers around Australia—recruiting and retaining skilled workers to help the business grow and meet its customers' needs.
In the shadow of the resources boom, the company also experienced competition for workers with nearby mining projects.
Alongside investing in training and development for local workers, including building opportunities for local Indigenous workers, the 457 program helped the company grow while building a culturally diverse and inclusive workforce.
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Employer sponsored visa categories, including the 457 visa program, have the highest processing priority, which means skilled workers can be deployed more quickly into the Australian workforce where they are most needed. Access to skilled workers is critical for regional businesses to prosper, which in turn supports the local community and economy.
The 457 program enables Australian employers in both regional and metropolitan areas to sponsor overseas skilled workers for temporary residence in Australia for a period of up to four years, filling skilled vacancies in their business where the local labour market cannot meet demand.