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Local workers suffer as Indian IT professionals flood Australian job market: report

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A report claims Indian IT companies in Australia were bringing IT professionals from India and these professionals were paid much less compared to their Australian counterparts.

An independent research organisation, The Australian Population Research Institute (TAPRI) in its latest report, Immigration Overflow: Why it Matters have made some scathing remarks about the 457 visa program and Coalition’s policy on immigration which sees over 200,000 applicants granted permanent residency in Australia every year.

The report states: ‘This permanent intake is the major source of Australia’s very high rate of population growth. This is having a disastrous impact on Sydney and Melbourne where just over half of the migrants settle.’

The authors of the report, Bob Birrell, Ernest Healy, and Bob Kinnaird have specifically highlighted the issue of Indian IT professionals brought to Australia on 457 visa program.

The report claims IT professionals constitute by far the largest occupation group within the 457 program and most are Indian nationals who are sponsored by Indian IT service companies.

Report says, ‘They (IT companies) have been successful in winning a major chunk of Australia’s IT consulting work on the basis of these 457 visa holders. They have succeeded in part because they are paying these professionals much lower salaries than the market rate for IT professionals in Australia.’

A section of report titled ‘The IT invasion via the 457 program’ points out how Australian consulting firms have to compete with multinational corporations like IBM and Accenture in tendering for this business.

‘For over a decade they have had to cope with a new competitor. This is the Indian IT service companies. They are now a major force around the globe, led by firms like Tata Consulting Services and Infosys.

‘The Indian IT service companies have been very successful in winning IT consulting work in the design and implementation of new IT software systems for Australian businesses and governments.

‘One of the reasons for this success is that they import their own staff on temporary visas to do much of the work.

‘Some 76 per cent of the 7,542 457 visas issued in the three IT occupations listed were to Indian nationals. The great majority of these were sponsored by Indian IT service companies as intra-company transferees.’

IT figures
The Australian Population Research Institute

INDIAN IT PROFESSIONALS ARE PAID LESS COMPARED TO THEIR AUSTRALIAN COUNTERPARTS

The report argues that despite the claims made by these IT companies, the individuals brought to Australia are paid much less.

Not just less as claimed on paper but also relatively lesser than their Australian counterparts.

It points out data obtained by Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), according to which the average Australian salary for full-time non-managerial employees in professional level IT occupations in 2014 was around $100,000.

For the 5,722 of the total of 7,329 who were Indian nationals in these two occupations in 2014-15, the salary level was very low. Some 61.4 per cent had a nominated base salary below $70,180—some $30,000 below average IT professionals’ salaries.

AUSTRALIANS HIT DUE TO THESE POLICIES

The authors opine Australia’s current migration policies are making it even harder for local graduates and other jobseekers to find work. Also the permanent program is a major source of the population growth Australia’s major metropolises are facing.

‘Young Australians are being hit both ways. They have to endure tough job markets and face the prospect of being unable to afford family friendly housing in these metropolises.’

The report has recommended reducing Australia's skilled migration program as a solution.

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