Pacific work-ready numbers double ahead of Australia’s harvest season
- Senator the Hon Zed Seselja, Minister for International Development and the Pacific
The number of Pacific and Timorese workers ready to take up jobs in regional Australia has more than doubled from 27,000 to 55,000 in recent weeks, following major recruitment drives in several Pacific countries and Timor-Leste.
Efforts by the governments of Pacific nations and Timor-Leste to increase the size of their ‘work-ready’ pools follows a commitment by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to double the number of Pacific workers in Australia by March 2022, to at least 25,000 workers.
With many Pacific nations recording no community transmission of COVID-19, Pacific labour mobility remains the most significant source of temporary migrant labour for the upcoming harvest season.
More than 25,000 work-ready participants have received their full COVID-19 vaccination, using vaccines approved by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Pacific workers have been the lifeblood of our agriculture and meat processing sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic, meeting workforce shortage needs of regional Australia.
Pacific labour mobility has also provided a vital economic injection for Pacific economies severely impacted by the pandemic, through remittances being sent to family members in the Pacific and Timor-Leste.
We encourage regional employers interested in recruiting workers under the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) Scheme to sign up at www.palmscheme.gov.au.