The Turnbull Government today announced a number of new measures to further support employers and seasonal workers to access the Seasonal Worker Programme.
Speaking at the Pacific Islands Forum in Samoa, Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said the measures would increase both the flexibility and support within the Seasonal Worker Programme and reflect a broader commitment to expand labour mobility in the Pacific.
Australia has an ongoing commitment to promoting economic resilience and improving livelihoods of the citizens in the region.
Minister for Employment, Michaelia Cash, said the Government is increasing access to the Seasonal Worker Programme for Australian employers in the agricultural and accommodation sectors to overcome local labour shortages and provide additional assistance to seasonal workers.
"The Seasonal Worker Programme is an important economic aid program in the Pacific region whose success depends on the support of Australian employers in the agricultural and accommodation sectors who cannot find enough local workers to meet seasonal labour needs,” Minister Cash said.
The new measures will help to increase Australian industry engagement, pilot ways to lower upfront costs for employers, improve visa arrangements and reduce red tape. They will also help employers provide additional pastoral care assistance, strengthen skills training and assist seasonal workers who wish to access their superannuation.
Critical safeguards are built into the Seasonal Worker Programme and include a requirement for employers to fully test the local job market before they can apply to recruit workers from nine Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste. Seasonal workers brought into Australia by employers are subject to the same workplace relations and work health and safety safeguards as Australian workers.
For more information about the Seasonal Worker Programme, please visit: www.employment.gov.au/seasonal-worker-programme