Australian trade union calls for reconsideration of working holiday visa

Published 27 November 2013, 13:34 AEST

The Australian Council of Trade Unions is urging the government to re-evaluate working holiday visas because of the high unemployment rate of young Australians entering the labor market.

working holiday Australian trade union calls for reconsideration of working holiday visa (Credit: ABC)

Union Chairman Carney said that although the issue is complicated, the government should revisit this approach when signing working holiday agreements with new countries. She said that at present, the unemployment rate of young people under the age of 19 in Australia looking for full-time jobs is close to 25%.

Carney said that before considering allowing young Europeans to come to Australia for work and holiday, the government should take into account the impact of this practice on the Australian economy and young people in the country.

Dr. Biller, a demographer at Monash University, agrees with Carney. He said that the number of young people who came to Australia for working holidays last year increased by 30%, so Australia should make major structural reforms.

Dr. Biller said that there are far more foreign young people coming to Australia for working holidays than Australian youths going overseas for working holidays, which creates a huge imbalance. He called on the government to stop signing working holiday agreements with new countries including Spain. He said that Spain’s youth unemployment rate is as high as 50%.

Ledger, CEO of Youth Hostel, has a different view on this issue. She said that previous research has shown that working holiday visitors actually create employment opportunities for Australia. This is because they need to consume and get services in Australia. According to Ledger’s calculations, every 100 visitors will create six jobs in Australia.