Employers

What type of workers do you need?

Are you an employer looking for short-term, unskilled or low-skilled seasonal workers through the Seasonal Worker Programme?

Or are you looking for longer-term, low-skilled or semi-skilled workers through the Pacific Labour Scheme?

Find out the main differences between the two initiatives—and why you might want to sign up to a Pacific labour mobility initiative.

What are the main differences between the Seasonal Worker Programme and the Pacific Labour Scheme?

The Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) builds on the success of the Australian Government’s Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP).

The SWP has allowed Australian businesses to recruit unskilled or low-skilled workers from Pacific island countries since 2012.

Both the SWP and the PLS are Pacific labour mobility initiatives that allow eligible rural and regional employers to access a reliable and productive workforce when there are not enough available local workers.

The key differences between the two initiatives are detailed in the table below.

 

 

 

Workers from Solomon Islands at GraceKate Farm
Seasonal Worker Programme Pacific Labour Scheme
Length of time Up to nine months Up to three years (minimum 12 months)
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 level Unskilled and low-skilled Low-skilled and semi-skilled
Labour market testing Required Required
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 and Tuvalu Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga and Tuvalu

Why should you sign up to a Pacific labour mobility initiative?

  1. Pacific labour mobility can help eligible businesses in rural and regional Australia recruit workers when they can’t fill jobs with local workers.
  2. Pacific labour mobility can deliver a stable, productive workforce where local labour is not available.
  3. The SWP allows employers to recruit unskilled and low-skilled workers for up to nine months, while the PLS allows employers to recruit low-skilled and semi-skilled workers for one to three years.

To find out more about the SWP, visit the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business’ SWP website, phone the information line (02 6240 5234; 9am to 5pm (AEDT), Monday to Friday) or get in touch by email (seasonalworker@employment.gov.au).

Or to learn more about the PLS, phone the information line (+61 7 3775 7750) or send an email (enquiries@pacificlabourfacility.com.au).

Tebby from Kiribati working in an aged care facility in Bundanoon
Do you need short-term, unskilled or low-skilled seasonal workers?
Do you need longer-term, low-skilled or semi-skilled workers?
How are workers supported while they are in Australia?