Australian Federal Minister of Agriculture, David Littleproud has announced to introduce special farm workers Visa for the Agricultural season. He says that picking farmers for the visa is his top priority. The Agriculture minister is having meetings with the newly appointed Minister of Immigration, David Coleman to discuss about the possibility of the new farmer visa.
The farm worker visa will only focus on hiring workers to help in the busy agriculture period that lasts from May to August every year.
The Agriculture Minister has been an avid supporter of the new Visa and has said that agriculture industry is facing huge labour shortage in the country and he believes that agriculture visa could help address the farmer shortage problem, as per The Australian.
Littleproud also believes that Australia needs a specific farm visa so that overseas farmers willing to work in Australian farms do not plod through various categories of visa. The visa proposal is to introduce the multiple entry visa of short duration to meet the farmer labour requirements without the need of any Labour Market Testing. The applications for this visa do not require any kind of sponsorship and applicants would be able to switch employers within the agriculture sector.
Fiona Simson, President of the National Farmers Federation, urges to fill the labour market with farmers and if the need is not fulfilled soon, the farm workers would struggle to get workers for the agricultural season. The agricultural sector already relies heavily on migrant labour and introduction of specific farmer visas will cater to the skill shortages in the field of agriculture specially fruit packers and packers.
Many of the agricultural jobs are seasonal and short-term and thus, the jobs do not attract locals who have other financial priorities and long-term career goals.
The immigration department of Australia is yet to comment and announce the details of Farm workers visa but is planning to introduce pilot program later this year. The switching of employers in the agriculture sector would be the key to the success of this visa. The only employers who demonstrate credible workplace practices should have access to foreign workers.
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