The federal government will reduce the number of 457 skilled worker visas given to fast food chains, including McDonald’s, according to a statement released by the Department of Immigration.

Skilled worker visas have been granted to just over 415,000 people (at March 31, 2016), 500 of which were approved for fast food outlets.

According to the ABC, nearly 300 skilled workers on 457 visas have been employed at McDonald’s, almost 100 at KFC and more than 70 at Hungry Jacks.

Under the Fast Food Industry Labour Agreement, approved by the Gillard Labor Agreement in 2012, businesses like McDonald’s were able to fast-track the visa process. However, the agreement has now been cancelled by the current government.

“Australian workers, particularly young Australians, must be given priority,” Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said in the statement.

“Businesses can still make requests under normal labour agreement arrangements to ensure that exceptional circumstances can be considered.

“Genuine business needs for overseas workers which contribute to economic growth will still be considered.”

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