BUSINESSES that bring skilled workers from overseas will pay up to $5000 to help train unskilled Australians looking for jobs in regional areas.

The Federal Budget has revealed businesses who apply to use the new Temporary Skill Shortage visa to bring in skilled foreign workers will pay the levy into a newly created Skilling Australians Fund.

The Temporary Skill Shortage visa will replace the controversial 457 visa.

The fund will prioritise jobs "in high demand that currently rely heavily on skilled migration, future growth industries and rural and regional areas".

"This fund will ensure an ongoing source of revenue to support Australian skills development and the take-up of apprenticeships and traineeships," the budget papers said.

"The new fund will replace the existing training benchmarks, which have not been successful in generating training opportunities to allow Australians to fill skill gaps."

Companies will pay $1200 or $1800 per year for each foreign worker on a temporary work visa, or a $3000 or $5000 one-off payment for a permanent visa.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said the measure would support Australian jobs.

"Until now, employers have had to contribute 1 or 2% of their payroll to training if they employ foreign workers. These requirements have proven difficult to police," he said. 


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