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Northern Australia to gain easy access over Overseas Workers for Gas Projects

August 2014, 11
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Northern Australia to recruit foreign workers
The federal government will facilitate the employers of Northern Australia to recruit foreign workers as a leading gas project has created labor shortages in the Top End.

The Northern Territory is set to be authorized under the designated area migration agreement followed by Western Australia’s Pilbara. The agreements are outlined to allow businesses outside the resources sector to recruit semi-skilled workers without complying with the rigorous language, training and wage level requirements of other immigration programs.

Draft guidelines stated that the local councils, state governments and chambers of commerce will be allowed to subsidize the agreements and nominate the eligible employers. Employers will be permitted to obtain allowances on language requirements of English, skills requirements and minimum wage levels.

The chief executive of NT chamber of commerce, Greg Bicknell stated that locals were flooded to the gas project in a group, resulting in shortfall of staff at all levels of Darwin’s other businesses. A designated area migration agreement is designed to expand the 457 visa program, which facilitates more number of people to be brought under a broad array of occupations, stressed Greg Bicknell.      

Greg Bicknell added that this was significant as skilled workers were tucked up by the project, causing more number of vacancies at the semi-skilled and unskilled levels. He stated that retail managers, restaurant supervisors, chefs, bus drivers and plant operators are the various occupations that should be mentioned in the agreement.

According to the information provided by the Department of Australia Immigration and Border Protection, the migration agreement will allow representatives of designated area to support an employer to participate. An employer will be able to sponsor foreign workers for a maximum period of four years. The agreements outfit the needs of employers, which include the number of foreign workers and the professions to be filled.   

The Designated area migration agreement will merely be a method for employers to shun the obligations that they were facing under the 457 scheme on labour market testing, training and wage thresholds.

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