Australia launches campaign to attract more working backpackers

by Ray Clancy on March 20, 2019

in Jobs in Australia

The Australian Government has launched a new campaign to attract more working holidaymakers but they particularly want them to take up jobs in the regions.

According to Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, while Australia had a reputation as a top destination for working holiday makers, more could be done to attract more of them.

(coolendelkid/Bigstock.com)

‘Working holiday makers are an essential part of Australia’s agricultural and tourism industries. They’re absolutely critical to filling short term workforce shortages in regional areas and they also inject over $3 billion into our economy each year,’ he said.

‘We know working holiday makers who travel to Australia, stay longer, spend more and travel further into regional areas than most other international visitors. They also importantly help fill seasonal roles in regional Australia, where farmers often struggle to source labour,’ he explained.

‘Whilst Australia is a highly desirable working holiday maker destination, research shows there are some barriers to travel, such as distance and a lack of understanding of the long-term benefits of a working holiday in Australia,’ he added.

The campaign, called Australia Inc, is aimed at demonstrating how living and working in Australia will make young people stand out from the crowd when they return home and benefit their long term career and life goals.

It is targeted at young people in the UK, France and Germany who have a high likelihood of considering overseas travel with temporary work and Immigration Minister David Coleman said that recent enhancements to the work and holiday visa program were designed to support rural and regional areas.

‘This campaign forms part of our ongoing work to enhance and promote the work and holiday visa programme that is so important in supporting regional and rural communities. We want Australians filling Australian jobs but when this isn’t possible action is needed to ensure farmers and other employers can continue to operate,’ he pointed out.

‘Our enhancements include expanding the regional areas where working holiday makers can work, increasing the time period they can stay with an employer and adding the option of a third year. They’ve been specifically designed to target genuine workforce shortages in regional Australia,’ he added.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Richard Colbeck, said that there are genuine workforce shortages in regional areas. ‘Access to sufficient labour, particularly for seasonal work, is a perennial issue and concern for the industry,’ he explained.

‘Our changes to the working holiday visa are specifically designed to help meet the needs of our farmers, as part of broader measures,’ he added.

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