Release type: Media Release

Date:

Strengthening community connections for seasonal workers

Ministers:

Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business

Participants in the Morrison Government’s Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) will be provided with additional welfare support with The Salvation Army chosen to deliver the $1 million Community Connections measure.

Over the next two years, The Salvation Army will provide additional and strengthened welfare support to workers, better connect them with their local communities and work to advance cultural understanding with the wider population.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the Government is committed to helping seasonal workers who are providing a vital service as Australia recovers from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Seasonal workers are assisting Australia in a time of need.” They are filling important gaps unable to be met by the Australian workforce. We should, in turn, ensure that they are well connected with their local community. Minister Cash said.

“We want to help safeguard the welfare of seasonal workers by linking them with local groups to help foster closer community connections.

“The Salvation Army has a lot of experience in this area and the care and guidance it will provide will work towards increasing worker satisfaction, reducing homesickness and boosting productivity.”

The Seasonal Worker Programme assists Australian employers to meet critical seasonal labour needs in select locations for the agriculture and accommodation industries while contributing to the economic development of nine Pacific nations, as well as Timor-Leste.

These measures are part of the Australian Government’s $9 million Pacific Labour Mobility Safeguarding the Welfare of Workers package announced in the 2020-21 Budget.

More than 49,000 visas have been granted to SWP workers since the program began in 2012, with recruitments resuming in August 2020 to help address seasonal labour shortages created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information about the Seasonal Worker Programme, visit: https://www.dese.gov.au/seasonal-worker-programme