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Asia Minute: Government Begins Hire Australian Program

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President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to promote the concept of “Hire American.” Among other steps, the action will bring a review of the U.S. work visa program. In Australia, the government is toughening its visa requirements for skilled workers. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.


A working visa in Australia just got a little tougher to acquire.

The government there announced changes this week that include stricter requirements for skilled workers coming from overseas. Also, more than 200 jobs will come off the list of professions eligible for temporary work visas.

That includes everything from antique dealers and actors to archeologists and radio announcers. The previous visa system had been in place for more than twenty years.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that system “displaced a lot of Australians from entry-level jobs,” adding that “We are an immigration nation, but the fact remains that Australian workers must have priorities for Australian jobs.”

Sounding like an echo of President Trump, Turnbull said “we are putting Australians first.”

Two new visa programs will include more rigorous English language tests and will require at least two years of work experience, not to mention a mandatory police check.

The move was welcomed by the right-wing nationalist party called “One Nation,” whose leader Pauline Hanson claimed credit for it.

The action was condemned by the opposition Labor Party, whose leader Bill Shorten said “the only job Malcolm Turnbull cares about saving is his own.”

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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