Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, the Hon. David Littleproud MP
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne
Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, the Hon Stuart Robert MP
Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon Zed Seselja
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, the Hon Alex Hawke MP
COVID-19 has brought into sharp focus the value of our Pacific labour mobility initiatives, the Seasonal Workers Programme (SWP) and Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS), which provide direct and tangible economic benefits to both our Pacific family and Australian farmers and industries.
To ensure they are scalable, sustainable and efficient into the future, the Morrison Government is opening public consultation to receive views from stakeholders on approaches to improve, streamline and align the two programs to maximise the benefits for employers, workers and participating countries.
The Morrison Government is focussed on getting the settings right, making it simpler for employers to recruit Pacific workers to help meet current and future critical workforce shortages, whilst ensuring the integrity of the programs and the welfare of workers.
Australia’s Pacific labour mobility initiatives play a crucial role in addressing workforce shortages across a range of sectors in regional Australia. The SWP and PLS can only be accessed after conducting mandatory local labour market testing. Both programs foster links between people, businesses and communities, creating deeper connections between Australia and the Pacific.
Submissions in response to the discussion paper are open until 18 July 2021.
The consultation process will not affect existing recruitment activities. Rather, the Government will continue to promote COVID-safe recruitment of workers to ensure growers and other critical industries have access to the workforce they need, and workers can continue to support the economic recovery and development of the region.
Further information about the consultation, including a Discussion Paper, is available here: www.dfat.gov.au/pacific-labour-mobility-consultation. More information on the Seasonal Worker Programme can be found at Seasonal Worker Programme - Department of Education, Skills and Employment, Australian Government (dese.gov.au), and on the Pacific Labour Scheme at Pacific labour mobility.