12 June 2008

Australian employers will pay for Pacific temporary workers

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The costs of the pending Pacific temporary worker scheme will be a burden for employers rather than migrants, Senator Chris Evans told the ABC news.

The Federal Immigration Minister said the scheme, which is waiting approval from the Cabinet, will create unavoidable yet necessary costs that will mostly fall in the remit of employers.  He argued that proper infrastructure is the only way for the program to succeed, and employers must be aware that the scheme will not be cheap. 

"You’ve got to recruit, you’ve got to transport, you’ve got to house, you’ve got to train," added the Minister.  "It’s not a panacea for all the ills in the Australian labour market and it’s certainly not about exploiting those workers," he said. 

The Government is following in the footsteps of a successful guest worker scheme in New Zealand, which filled the labour shortage in the farms and vineyards with temporary workers from the Pacific.  Australia has been encouraging more people to apply for working holiday visas and skilled migrant visas to fill the vacancies in the workforce.

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