Find answers to some of the most commonly-asked queries about Pacific labour mobility, including the main differences between the Seasonal Worker Programme and the Pacific Labour Scheme.Find out how to get involved
The Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) helps employers in the Australian agricultural and accommodation sectors in selected regional and rural locations to access unskilled and low-skilled seasonal labour from Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste when they cannot find labour locally.
The SWP contributes to the economic development of the 9 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 9 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 3 years.
|Seasonal Worker Programme||Pacific Labour Scheme|
|Length of time||Up to 9 months||One to 3 years|
|Industries||Agriculture, accommodation (in select locations)||All sectors in rural and regional Australia|
|Locations||Agriculture: Nationally. Accommodation: WA, NT, Tropical North Qld and Kangaroo Island||Rural and regional Australia|
|Skill levels||Unskilled and low-skilled||Low-skilled and semi-skilled|
|Labour market testing||Required||Required|
|Responsible agency||Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business||Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade|
|Age of workers||21 years and over||21-45 years|
|Partner countries||Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu||Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu|
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 PLS approved employer assessment process.
If you have any questions, please get in touch by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).