Australian agricultural employers and industries will benefit from changes announced to the Seasonal Worker Programme today.
The Government announced the expansion of the Programme from primarily horticulture to the broader agricultural sector, increasing the types of low and unskilled jobs included under the Programme.
Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton has applauded this announcement which he believes will benefit many employers across his electorate.
“The Seasonal Worker Programme has been highly effective in helping local businesses overcome seasonal labour shortages,” Mr Coulton said.
“Employers in a range of agriculture industries including cattle, sheep, grain and mixed enterprises will now be able to apply to be part of the Seasonal Worker Programme.
“Farming businesses in particular will benefit in regional areas where labour can be in short supply during peak periods.
Mr Coulton cautioned that employers must fully test the local job market before they can apply to recruit workers under the Programme.
“While we are determined to ensure businesses across Australia have access to the seasonal workers they need, we are equally determined that no Australian misses out on a job,” Mr Coulton said.
The Seasonal Worker Programme assists Australian employers unable to find enough local Australian workers to meet seasonal labour needs and contributes to the economic development of Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste.
Workers brought in by employers are subject to the same workplace relations and work health and safety safeguards as Australian job seekers.
Since 1 July 2012, over 8600 visas have been issued to people under the Programme to support the seasonal labour needs of around 70 approved employers.
To apply to recruit seasonal workers please visit www.employment.gov.au/information-employers-how-recruit-seasonal-workers or for further information about the Seasonal Worker Programme please visit: www.employment.gov.au/seasonal-worker-programme