BONSERNEWS.com – Erica Gusmao is a single mother trying hard to support herself and her child. In Brazil, his native country, he is a graphic designer, having moved to Australia a year ago and hopes to turn his baking hobby into a career by taking cooking classes.
Erica had been trying to enjoy life in Australia by working as a dishwasher in a cafe in Hobart, the state capital of Tasmania, but that was about to change.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, foreign students in Australia were allowed to work up to 40 hours in two weeks.
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In 2022, these restrictions were lifted to overcome the problem of a shortage of manpower, so that international students could work without any restrictions on working hours at all.
However, starting July 1, 2023, the restriction is reinstated to a maximum of 48 hours per fortnight, except for those working in aged care.
“It was a bit scary when we heard this news, everyone in the WhatsApp group of friends from Brazil was talking about this,” said Erica.
He said he had been thinking about finding a place to live with his younger sister to cut down on rent, fearing that the cost of living in Australia would also increase.
“My son is now in kindergarten, so I have to pay a fee, on top of my own course fees,” she said.
“We’re always trying to find a way of not making too many plans, because things keep changing.”
Executive Director of the Restaurant Industry, Suresh Manickam, said many students had to work to make ends meet in Australia. (Bonsernews.com/abc.net.au/indonesian – ABC News/Alice Pavlovic)
Restrictions imposed ‘too soon’
Restrictions on working hours for international students will be lifted in early 2022, as the Australian hospitality industry suffers from a severe labor shortage.
Suresh Manickam, Executive Director of the Restaurant and Catering Industry Association, at the time, said the easing of working hours was meant to keep the restaurant industry afloat and also provide additional income for international students.