Visa changes announced to solve labour shortage
THE Federal Government has announced changes to visa schemes to assist farmers with labour shortages.
Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa program and Seasonal Worker Program have been re-worked making it easier for farmers to access workers when needed.
Changes include increasing caps on WHM program, giving visa holders the option of a third year, and increasing the Seasonal Worker Program work period to nine months.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael Mccormack said agriculture was a critical industry which underpinned regional economies and empowering a flexible work-force was critical to success.
“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,” Mr Mccormack said.
“We remain focussed on addressing this issue by providing more workforce options and flexibility to help our farmers pick their fruit and harvest their crops.”
Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said farmers had been calling for action in this space for some time, and these changes addressed the problems.