The Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) helps employers in the Australian agricultural and accommodation sectors in selected regional and rural locations to access unskilled seasonal labour from Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste when they cannot find labour locally.
The SWP contributes to the economic development of the nine participating Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste by providing access to work opportunities in Australia.
For more information about the SWP, visit the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business’ SWP page.
The Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) builds on the success of the SWP. It is designed to help Australian businesses address chronic labour shortages and deliver a stable and productive workforce where local labour is not available.
The PLS enables citizens from nine Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste to take up low-skilled and semi-skilled work opportunities in all sectors in rural and regional Australia for up to three years.
No. The Pacific Labour Scheme enables employers to access low and semi-skilled workers from Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste for up to three years.
The Seasonal Worker Programme enables employers in the agricultural and accommodation sectors to access unskilled workers for a period of nine months.
All participating workers have the same rights and protections as Australian workers. We provide a range of support services to assist workers including:
If you are an employer who wants to join the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS), you need to be accredited as an Approved Employer by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Our online prospective employer questionnaire will help you work out whether your business is eligible to join the PLS.
If you are a current Seasonal Worker Programme Approved Employer, you can apply to join the PLS, but you still need to undergo the Approved Employer assessment process.
If you have any questions, please get in touch by email (email@example.com).
|Start date||1 July 2018|
|Length of time workers can stay in Australia||Up to three years (minimum of 12 months)|
|Industries||All sectors in rural and regional Australia with an initial focus on accommodation and food services, health care and social assistance, and non-seasonal agriculture, forestry and fishing|
|Locations||Rural and regional Australia|
|Skill level||Low-skilled and semi-skilled (ANZSCO Level 4, with Levels 3 and 5 in scope)|
|Labour market testing||Required|
|Worker support services||Ongoing pastoral care, including a 24-hour phone hotline (1800 51 51 31)|
|Visa class||403 (International Relations)—Employer sponsorship required|
|Responsible agency||Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)|
|Administered by||Pacific Labour Facility and DFAT|
|Age of workers||21-45 years|
|Annual cap on participants||The Pacific Labour Scheme has been uncapped to enable demand-driven growth from Australian employers and Pacific island countries|
|Partner countries||Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu|