Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Australian farmers get Pacific guest workers

And who is going to make sure that they go home at the end of their work? Polynesians are a high-crime group

FRUIT and vegetable growers will be able to employ seasonal workers from the Pacific region and East Timor from the middle of 2012. But they will have to show they can't find local workers at harvest time before accessing a $21.7 million program.

The program, announced by the Federal Government today follows a successful pilot scheme. The Government will also conduct a small-scale, three-year trial with the tourism industry. Cotton and cane growers as well as fishing operators will be included.

The Government says growers in the horticultural sector will be able to access a reliable, returning seasonal workforce from July 1.

The program would contribute to economic development in participating countries, such as East Timor, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson described the trial as a "win-win" outcome for Australian tourism operators and regional workers who would be able to improve their skills through education and training.

There are about 36,000 vacancies in the tourism industry, as the sector faces severe labour shortages brought about by a booming resources sector competing for workers.

Seasonal workers taking part in the permanent program will be employed in accordance with Australian work standards. Employers will contribute to travel costs.


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See here for the blog. The CIS main page is here.

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