Vegetable growers struggling to source local labour should consider the ‘Pacific Seasonal Worker Scheme’ being offered by the Australian Federal Government.
The three year program aims to provide Pacific Islanders with the opportunity to work in the Australian horticultural industry.
Up to 2500 visas are available, for up to 7 months each year, in areas of regional Australia where there is demonstrated unmet demand for labour.
The program allows pacific workers to contribute to the economic development of their home countries.
Horticultural enterprises from any region in Australia may apply to participate.
Growers interested in taking on Pacific seasonal workers should contact the Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations to discuss their seasonal labour needs.
Pacific workers come from Kiribati, Tonga, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.
Pacific workers are not a “cheap labour” option and will probably cost growers slightly more than employing locals.
Growers must first prove there are no local workers available and must meet Australian work standards, including awards and pay rates.
Growers will also have to pay half the cost of the return airfare as well as other costs.
For more information contact:
Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme
Phone: 02 6240 5234
or your Industry Development Officers :