Timor-Leste joins the Pacific Labour Scheme

  • Media release
29 March 2019

Iam pleased to announce that Timor-Leste has today joined Australia's newPacific Labour Scheme, the ninth nation to participate in the initiative thatstrengthens our partnerships in the region.

Timor-Leste'sSecretary of State, Julião da Silva, and I signed the Memorandum ofUnderstanding for Timor-Leste's participation in the scheme following abilateral meeting in Sydney.

Thescheme provides Australian employers in rural and regional Australia withaccess to a reliable, productive and long-term workforce to help theirbusinesses grow.

Timor-Lestejoins Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Nauru, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvaluand Vanuatu in the Pacific Labour Scheme. Workers can undertake non-seasonalwork in rural and regional Australia for up to three years.

Thescheme builds on the success of Timor-Leste's involvement in the AustralianGovernment's Seasonal Worker Programme. Since joining the programme in 2012,almost 3,000 Timor-Leste workers have helped to fill labour shortages in ruraland regional Australia while gaining skills and supporting their families backhome. Timor-Leste is now the third largest sending country under thisprogramme, and sends the highest percentage of female workers.

Australiahas deep and enduring ties with Timor-Leste based on shared history, values andinterests. I welcome Timor-Leste's entry into the Pacific Labour Scheme, partof the new chapter in our bilateral relations, coming as Timor-Leste preparesto mark 20 years since the Popular Consultation for Independence in August1999.

Visit http://dfat.gov.au/labourmobility to learn more about Australia's labour mobility initiatives, including thePacific Labour Scheme.

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