There are a variety of visas available to enhance the agricultural industry’s ability to meet workforce needs. Many farmers are aware of working holiday visas, however there are many other visas that can be applied to agriculture.
Subclass 489 – Skilled Regional visa
Subclass 491 – Skilled Regional Work visa
Subclass 417 – Working Holiday visa
Subclass 462 – Work and Holiday visa
Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage
Subclass 403 – Seasonal Worker Program, Pacific Labour Scheme
Subclass 887 – Skilled Regional visa
Subclass 190- Skilled Nominated (Permanent)
Subclass 191 – Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional)
Subclass 187 – Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme
If businesses are unable to find suitable skilled employees locally, employment through visa programs may be suitable. For example: fruit, vegetable and nuts growers, and other crop farmers across Queensland can fill positions for skilled regional jobs through visa subclass 489 and 190. In addition, there are new subclass visa expected to become available from November 2019.
Pacific Labour Mobility
Eligible regional and rural businesses can join the Pacific Labour Scheme through the Pacific Labour Facility or the Seasonal Worker Program through the Department of Employment.
When business are unable to recruit local Australian labour, they can employ both unskilled and semi-skilled employees through the Pacific Labour Facility, visa subclass 403. This includes both the Seasonal Worker Program, which allows unskilled employees from the Pacific Islands and Timor Leste to work in Australia for up to nine months, and the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS), which allows semi-skilled employees from the Pacific Islands and Timor Leste to work for a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years.
The Pacific Labour Facility allows these workers to return to their previous Australian employer year-on-year which mutually benefits both parties. Businesses who have employed workers through the Pacific Labour Facility have reported reduced costs of training and higher productivity.
For visas, visit immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/
For migration programs and migration agent contacts, visit migration.qld.gov.au
For assistance on any workforce development matters, please contact your local Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network (QAWN) Officer: www.growcom.com.au/workplace-relations/employment-programs-and-subsidies
The Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network (QAWN) is an industry-led rural jobs initiative funded by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.