The Federal Government has announced wide ranging reforms to the 457 visa program which should make it easier for builders and contractors in regional and remote areas to engage eligible 457 workers.

“These reforms are backed by Master Builders and follow extensive input from builders,” Wilhelm Harnisch CEO of Master Builders Australia said.

“Based on analysis of the Independent Review of the Integrity of the 457 Subclass Program, the proposed reforms of the 457 visa system will greatly assist regional builders and boost economic growth and jobs in regional Australia,” he said.

“In particular Master Builders supports the establishment of training funds which will allow builders to train more young Australians, particularly in rural and regional areas where it is difficult to meet the current training criteria for 457 visas,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.

“Builders make huge contributions to their local communities; the initiatives will enhance the ability of regional builders to invest in the futures of young people in these communities and retain young people in their region who have the skills to build their future homes and community facilities,” he said.

“Master Builders also reinforces its support of the Government’s commitment to the training of Australian workers and up-skilling of current workers which will allow businesses to succeed in regional areas,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.

“The proposed reforms are a big win for the building and construction industry in regional Australia,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.