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As a result of Australia’s Omicron COVID-19 outbreak, foreign students will be allowed to work extra hours to assist address workforce shortages. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that modifications would be made to abolish a 40-hour per fortnight working cap for foreign students in certain areas. The temporary relaxation is intended to alleviate debilitating labor shortages caused by the isolation of thousands of workers in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Mr. Morrison stated that the situation necessitated a balancing act between keeping people at work and preserving the health system as COVID-19 infections rapidly increased

Shortages across economy

Businesses had been attempting to hire  400,000 individuals to fill unfilled positions even before the omicron virus spike exacerbated labor shortages.

The number of job openings increased by 18.5%, as firms went on a hiring binge following the end of the delta lockdowns. Builders are taking employees from each other and are having difficulty getting building materials due to labor shortages and supply chain delays. With over 100,000 new COVID-19 cases expected every day, the Prime Minister said the virus would undoubtedly disrupt supply lines and the workforce until it peaked.

Essential workers expanded to boost supply

Close contact rules for all transport, freight, and logistics staff would be reduced further to lessen the increasing strain on supply networks. Workers in these industries will be able to return to work immediately if they are a close contact and have a negative quick antigen test as a result of the adjustments. According to the federal authorities, between 20% and 50% of trucking and logistics personnel have been placed in isolation or have been affected by COVID. The same restrictions will apply to health and emergency services, as well as key items such as electricity and water resources and the food distribution system. It will also classify telecommunications and media workers, as well as education and child care workers, as defined by the laws.

The decision could put more pressure on international students

Many students will be pleased with the government’s decision. While international students already spend approximately 40 hours per week at university, attending lectures, tutorials, and working on assignments. Overseas students must balance work and education commitments. Putting a greater burden on international students to cover a labor shortfall would put further strain on students who are already under pressure to satisfy university deadlines. The most important question is why international students come here to study. If you are asking them to work just as skilled workers, the question is whether they should acquire a separate visa rather than a student visa. Overseas students, particularly new students who have arrived in Australia, may be unaware of the shifting rules and study requirements. It is a perilous position for them because they will not get the right guidance. Increasing the number of overseas students working could put them at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Now the question is who will be responsible for their care if international students become ill?

The Omicron form of COVID-19 has exacerbated labor shortages in several industries in Australia.  Oversea students will be working 40 hours every fortnight while balancing their programs. After finishing their courses they can apply for a covid 19 visa. It is an opportunity for international students to earn more in such difficult times. But with more earning comes the trouble of a great deal of work and the risk of getting infected.

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