Teys Bros meatworks in Rockhampton.
Teys Bros meatworks in Rockhampton.

457 visa workers popular in many fields, but not with union

SKILLED overseas meatworkers are in demand in Queensland.

Meatworkers are the second highest occupation in Queensland for the granting of 457 visas.

The 250 visas issued in 2012-13 was more than 150% up on the 100 visas approved the year before.

Cooks were the top occupation with GPs a distant third.

The number of foreign workers applying for skilled work visas is falling - but their use is still provoking fiery exchanges with one union already launching a campaign against them.

In the latest Department of Immigration statistics, the number of 457 visas rose 10.4% in the 12 months to November 2012 compared to the year before.

But from June, the rate of applications started to fall.

At the same time, the number of visas issued rose 10%, creating a total of 103,430 workers in Australia on 457 visas.

Despite the hint of a decline in visas, the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union has launched its "Let's Spread It Around" campaign aimed at "making the mining boom deliver jobs for Australian workers" as the country prepares for the Federal election.