Primary producers are urged to get their Australian Visa applications for workers in early.
17 November 2010
Primary producers urged to apply ASAP for their workers’ Australian Visa
Australian primary producers are being urged to apply early for visas if they’re considering using Pacific seasonal workers as a labour force option this harvest season.
With a bumper crop expected but limited Australian Visa places available in the Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme (PSWPS) the government is urging growers to get their applications in early.
“An expected bumper crop and decreasing numbers in the traditional harvest labour sources of students and working holiday makers means growers are likely to need more workers than they did in previous seasons,” a spokesman from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) said.
“Many growers are opting to risk manage the threat of a possible worker shortage by securing their out-of-area labour team from the PSWPS.”
Employing Pacific seasonal workers does add some additional employment costs; however, the grower does benefit from minimised risk and lower cost from not having to manage recruitment during the peak picking period. Growers also have a reduction in training costs in following seasons.
Workers from Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Vanuatu have been involved in the scheme.
“Growers who are concerned about possible labour shortages for the harvest season or who wish to trial an alternative source of labour, should contact the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations or an approved employer to discuss their needs,” the spokesman said.