agricultural workers

Working in agriculture will allow backpackers to extend their stay in Australia

by Ray Clancy on January 14, 2019

in Jobs in Australia

There will be more opportunities for young backpackers looking to spend a working holiday in Australia with changes to visas allowing them to extend their stay for a second or third year if they work in the agricultural sector.

Farmers in regional and rural areas around Australia have been struggling to find enough seasonal workers and there have been reports of fruit left rotting in fields and crops going unharvested.

Agricultural Worker

(NejroN Photo/Bigstock.com)

Now it has been announced that there will be a number of changes to the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa programme to target genuine workforce shortages in regional Australia without displacing Australian workers.

There will be an increase in the number of visa holders and they will be allowed to extend their time in Australia by undertaking agricultural work in new areas across the country.

The changes mean that working holiday visa holders (subclass 462) will be able to undertake regional plant and animal cultivation work in additional priority areas to become eligible for a second visa.

Extension of the period a working holiday maker (subclass 417 and 462) visas mean that they may work with the same agricultural employer from six to 12 months and a third year option will be available from July 2019 for those who complete six months of regional work in the second year.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said agriculture was a critical industry which underpinned regional economies and empowering a flexible workforce to meet varied labour demands was critical to success.

He described the visa changes as a pragmatic solution to address the problem of filling workforce shortages in the Australian farm sector. ‘Our considered and measured approach ensures we continue to back farm businesses and communities to continue producing and supplying the world’s best food and fibre,’ he explained.

Immigration Minister David Coleman believes that the changes to the working holidaymaker visa programme would help resolve agricultural labour shortages in regional and rural Australia.

‘Lifting the annual caps on visas, expanding the number of regional areas where work and holiday makers can work for three months in specified farming work, and allowing 12 months of work with the same agricultural employer will assist farmers this growing season,’ he said.

‘These incentives will encourage more workers to the regions that need them and provide working holiday makers with more flexibility, as well as the opportunity to experience living and working in Australia’s rural communities,’ he added.

{ 0 comments }

Thumbnail image for Agriculture industry hits out at new levy on employing foreign workers

Agriculture industry hits out at new levy on employing foreign workers

May 12, 2017 Jobs in Australia

Farmers and rural businesses in Australia have demanded that the Government rethink its new levy on foreign workers, which they believe will have a significant impact on their ability to employ people from abroad. They say it will make it harder and more expensive for them to recruit key skilled works from overseas in key […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Australia in Need of Farmers, Agricultural Workers from Overseas: Report

Australia in Need of Farmers, Agricultural Workers from Overseas: Report

October 20, 2016 Australia Immigration

Australia needs expert farmers and agricultural workers from overseas because they help develop the country’s farming industry, bringing innovation and new skills, according to a new report. Foreign workers – including seasonal workers and backpackers – also have an important role to play in agriculture in terms of bringing vitality and filling job shortages, says […]

Read the full article →