Expanded access to the Pacific Labour Scheme
5 September, 2018, 3:44 pm
YAREN, 05 SEPTEMBER 2018 (DFAT) – Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu will join Australia’s Pacific Labour Scheme following the signing of agreements with each nation at the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru Tuesday.
The new labour mobility scheme is an integral part of Australia’s efforts to promote greater economic cooperation with the Pacific, and help strengthen the region’s economic resilience.
It provides Pacific island workers with opportunities to gain valuable skills and income, and assists businesses in rural and regional Australia. The workers also contribute to Australia’s economy by filling roles Australian businesses have proven they cannot fill with local workers.
The Pacific Labour Scheme commenced on 1 July 2018. Workers from Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu will now join those from Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu to undertake non-seasonal work in rural and regional Australia.
The scheme has an initial cap of up to 2,000 workers in 2018-19, and includes measures to protect Pacific workers and Australian jobs.
It builds on Australia’s long-standing Seasonal Worker Programme, which has helped Australian farmers and provided job opportunities for over 25,000 workers from the Pacific and Timor-Leste since 2012, delivering $144 million (US$103 million) in net income gains to the region.