Fairfax had a big run on the 457 schemes and the abuses of the system (including deaths etc). See here, here, here, here, and here.
Whilst travelling home I heard an excerpt of an interview with Virginia Triolli of ABC Sydney where she talked with a baker who complained he just couldn't find the staff. The baker claimed he'd spent several thousand dollars recruiting to no avail, gone OS, and directly recruited on the 457 scheme. The reason why was apprentices in Oz didn't stick it out.
Finally he said why.
'Cause apprentices get paid less than nine bucks an hour,' he said. Yep, apprentices get less than minimum wage. There used to be a time when you did pay your way in a new trade because you were being taught on the job. But many of these people are working hard and long hours from the get go and are not being given a living wage. So instead of importing over skilled immigrants who have to work at jobs beneath them why not pay apprentices the very least minimum wage? Why is it these poor bastards have to choose between a better paying job with less skills development and a job with good skills development but where they have to live in a shitty group house for four years on two minute noodles or camp at mum and dads?
Pay them more and they just might stay.