The Immigration department of Australia is planning to extend the Working Holidaymaker Program to India and other 13 countries. The extension will help address the labour crunch that is troubling the agriculture sector.
Jaswinder Singh Mavi, a farmer from Griffith, says that hiring labour for his 300 acre orange farm is a continuous cause of worry due to shortage labour market shortage. He says many times he had to let the unpicked fruit rot due to scarcity of labours.
To deal with this uninterrupted problem, the Farmers Federation of Australia has been demanding a separate Agriculture Visa. However, the Australian Government is yet to announce one.
The extension program has brought cheer to Australian farmers who can now hire skilled farmers to Australia.
Mr. Mavi says that his business will benefit once the program becomes effective. A lot of people from Punjab wish to work on Australian farms. He says that the inclusion of India in the Working Holidaymaker Program will be a game changer for them, as quoted by SBS News.
Indian workers have the right attitude to work on Australian farms. However, Indian workers would need re-skilling to work on Australian farms.
The other farmer owner Mr. Sidhu says that he trains backpackers for at least 3 weeks but when they leave after just a couple of months, it drains his resources. However, including countries like India and Brazil will help address the labour crunch.
Applicants applying for Australian immigration must meet minimum requirements like secondary education and English skills.
However, a vegetable farmer from Victoria, Chanamat Singh says that English skills should not be a barrier for someone to get this visa. He says that he looking for workers with farming skills and not English.
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