Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Improvements to Pacific worker scheme announced

A series of improvements to streamline the process to recruit Pacific workers have been announced by the Coalition Government.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt has welcomed the changes to the Seasonal Worker Programme and the Pacific Labor Scheme which have been utilised by local growers to ensure they have a reliable workforce.

“These measures will reduce red tape for employers as well as provide training opportunities for workers and fund initiatives to safeguard worker welfare.

“Workers that come to work in Australia play an important role in our community. They are helping fill shortages in multiple sectors, while at the same time developing skills which can then be used to support their families and communities.

“A majority of current employers in the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) and the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) will be able to join the other program, providing they are eligible and wish to do so. They’ll then be able to recruit under either or both programs.

“New employers will be able to apply to join both streams through a single application via a new one-stop-shop website.

“The Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme website also has information for employers, community stakeholders and people in the Pacific and Timor-Leste considering work opportunities in Australia.

“A new skills program for workers to access training while in Australia to support worker development has been established and funding for initiatives that safeguard worker welfare has been extended.

“The validity period for labour market testing has been increased from 6 months to 12 months, and PLS workers who have spent three years in Australia can continue working for an additional 12 months while Covid-19 travel restrictions remain in place.

“A new PALM Advisory Group has also been established to build on work done in recent years to grow Pacific labour mobility to the benefit of all stakeholders.”

For more information about the changes to the programs or any employer interested in applying can visit: https://www.palmscheme.gov.au/

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