Research spotlight

Are there only winners? Labour mobility for sustainable development in the Pacific

Yvonne Underhill-Sem, Evelyn Marsters, Richard Bedford, Vijay Naidu and Ward Friesen

New Zealand Institute for Pacific Research, 2019

The aim of this study is to provide a critical analysis of research and policy tools used for managing Pacific seasonal labour mobility and to assess the effects of specific policy initiatives within specific economic sectors, and countries, that are affected by labour mobility schemes. The study proposes a new framework for labour mobility—a “quadruple win-loss” (rather than “triple win”) that underpins most of the policy commentary. Read more …

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PNG tracer study report

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05/2017

Relatively few Papua New Guineans have participated in Australia’s Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) managed by the Australian Department of Employment (DoE), and its predecessor, the Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme...

Relatively few Papua New Guineans have participated in Australia’s Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) managed by the Australian Department of Employment (DoE), and its predecessor, the Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme (PSWPS). This study is the first among Papua New Guinean returnees and as such is filling an important knowledge gap about the experiences of Papua New Guinean participants in the SWP. 34 seasonal workers returned to Papua New Guinea (PNG) in three groups between August and October 2016. Of these, 26 participated in interviews as part of this study.

LMAP Vanuatu reintegration and tracer study report for management

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05/2017

One hundred workers from Vanuatu who participated in the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP), and returned in April and May 2017 were interviewed for this study. Interviews were completed by a...

One hundred workers from Vanuatu who participated in the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP), and returned in April and May 2017 were interviewed for this study. Interviews were completed by a team of ni-Vanuatu researchers (two men and three women) with support from a local lead researcher, all of whom had extensive previous research experience. In total 66 men and 34 women were interviewed.

Approved Employer survey and focus group discussion

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11/2017

The Approved Employer survey is part of the Labour Mobility Assistant Program’s (LMAP) evaluation of how well the countries involved in the Seasonal Worker Program (SWP) are responding to the...

The Approved Employer survey is part of the Labour Mobility Assistant Program’s (LMAP) evaluation of how well the countries involved in the Seasonal Worker Program (SWP) are responding to the needs of Australian Approved Employers, and what can be done to improve their management of the SWP. The analysis of survey results has been complemented by a focus group discussion with Approved Employers at a Department of Jobs and Small Business (DJSB) Employer Workshop. The survey and focus group discussion will inform SWP process by providing valuable management information that links program processes to program outcomes, thereby allowing the identification of best practice, lessons learned and opportunities for continuous improvement.

Timorese workers in Australia: A study of seasonal work experiences, skills and future options

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04/2017

In November 2016 a reintegration and tracer study was conducted involving 50 Timorese who had recently returned from participating in the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP), to understand their experience of...

In November 2016 a reintegration and tracer study was conducted involving 50 Timorese who had recently returned from participating in the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP), to understand their experience of the SWP, as well as the benefits it brings to their life in Timor-Leste. In this follow-up study conducted in April 2017, 39 of the same workers were re-interviewed to determine what they have done during their six months back in Timor-Leste, their spending patterns and their plans to return to SWP. The research aims to understand the motivations of the workers and how the SWP contributes to achieving their long-term plans in Timor-Leste.



Timor Seasonal Worker Programme synopsis of tracer study results

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12/2016

Since joining the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) in 2012, 150 Papua New Guinean (PNG) workers, including 24 women, have participated in seasonal horticultural work in Australia. This is the first...

Since joining the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) in 2012, 150 Papua New Guinean (PNG) workers, including 24 women, have participated in seasonal horticultural work in Australia. This is the first research into the experiences of PNG SWP workers in Australia and the development impacts from their participation.

Maximising the development impacts from temporary migration recommendations for Australia’s Seasonal Worker Programme

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10/2017

The Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) was formally introduced in 2012 following a four-year pilot scheme. The SWP maintains the dual objectives of: (i) contributing to the economic development of nine...

The Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) was formally introduced in 2012 following a four-year pilot scheme. The SWP maintains the dual objectives of: (i) contributing to the economic development of nine participating Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste; and (ii) filling labor shortages in the Australian agriculture, accommodation (in selected locations) and tourism sectors (the Northern Australia tourism pilot). This paper assesses the first of these objectives, evaluating the impact of the SWP on workers, their households, and communities. In doing so, it aims to build on the evidence already collected on the development impacts of the Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme (Gibson and McKenzie 2011) and shed further light on how the program can be improved to increase the benefits flowing through to the Pacific region.