Fair go: Commerce Ballarat now has a role in making sure some foreign workers are paid the same as locals. Photo: FILE

Visa role for Commerce

February 13, 2020 BY

PEEK business and industry body, Commerce Ballarat, has been appointed by the Federal government as a Regional Certifying Body.

The announcement means Commerce will now act as an advisor to the Department of Home Affairs on elements of critical skill shortages within labour markets.

“The RCB role changed at the end of last year and now the only advice that we have to give the Department is that visa applicants will be paid the equivalent or more of annual market salary,” said Commerce Ballarat spokesperson Zoe Becker.

Even though the RCB is no longer tasked with assessing the need of foreign worker applications, Ms Becker said making sure local verses overseas workers in industries with critical shortages was a fine line to walk.

“You’d hate to see roles being filled by people that could be doing them here,” she said. “But we also need make sure that our businesses can get the people they need and function to their fullest.

“If workers can’t be found here, of course we want employers to get people into those positions.”

The RCB tasks are a further addition to the already extensive list of services offered by Commerce Ballarat.

“We’re just looking forward to expanding our role and what we do,” said Ms Becker. “It’s another avenue for Commerce to expand services to Ballarat businesses and surrounds.”

The Ballarat RCB region includes the City of Ballarat along with Golden Plains, Hepburn, Moorabool and Pyrenees shires.