Bringing a Pacific Island Workforce to Australian Horticulture.

Labour Solutions Australia launches Pacific Labour Solutions to fill labour gaps in regional and rural Australia.
The Australian Government’s Pacific Labour Scheme was created to fill labour gaps in regional and rural Australia, specifically in industries where existing labour pools can’t meet demand. When an Australian can’t fill a low-skilled or semi-skilled job, a Pacific Islander can be sponsored to take the position for up to three years full time. Remote and regional communities also benefit from the additional boost to the local economy.

The scheme enables citizens of Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu into roles in agriculture, accommodation services, food services, social assistance, healthcare, forestry and fishing. Through these opportunities, workers earn income, receive training and develop skills that benefit their families and communities back home while employers gain access to a reliable workforce.

The Scheme focuses on low and semi-skilled occupations, and complements the existing ”Seasonal Worker Programme” which has provided more than 33,000 seasonal jobs since 2012 to workers from the Pacific. These workers have helped growers harvest crops, increased productivity and ensured produce got to market. The Pacific Labour Scheme fills the space between seasonal workers able to return year-after-year with full-time opportunities required by non-seasonal sectors.

A Pacific Island workforce, coming soon to a town near you.

Whereas backpackers have recently filled labour shortages, hiring workers from the Pacific Islands has seen employees with a more mature approach to their employment, along with greater loyalty and longer-term commitment, saving money saved in reduced retraining. Backpackers by their nature are only there for the short term. The Pacific Labour Scheme has been successful for businesses experiencing a high turnover of staff recently serviced by backpackers, who spend valuable time, energy and money constantly training new workers.

Pacific Labour Solutions is the Pacific Labour arm of the nationally recognized, Labour Solutions Australia, and are a pre-approved, fully compliant sponsor of both the Pacific Labour Scheme and the Seasonal Worker Programme. They are connected with local labour sourcing partners and recruitment agencies across the Pacific and handle the sponsorship and compliance requirements. Their dedicated team has been supplying compliant workforce management since 2004.

The process starts with the host business contacting Pacific Labour Solutions with their requirements, who then consult with the various “Labour Mobility Units” in the respective countries. Once a shortlist of candidates is collected, Pacific Labour Solutions staff travel to the respective island to interview them, and conduct a medical examination by their own medical staff, so it is compared to Australian standards. Labour Solutions Australia employs the successful candidate on behalf of the business, and manages all aspects of employment, including payroll, workers compensation, workplace agreements, and disputes – even pastoral care.

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