The Australian Government has announced a new horticulture labour agreement to increase access to skilled and semi-skilled migrant workers for the horticulture industry.
The new agreement will help Australian farmers hire low-skilled and skilled foreign workers, where Australian workers are not available.
The new horticulture labour agreement became effective on the 1st of January 2020. The agreement provides concession in minimum salary and English languages with the English requirement lowered to just a score of 5 on IELTS. There are also age concessions with employers being able to sponsor foreign workers up to 50 years of age.
Australia Horticulture Labour Agreement Occupations
Employers in the horticulture industry would be able to sponsor foreign workers in 31 eligible occupations under the new labour agreement. The following Occupations are available under the new horticulture labour agreement:
|Approved occupation||ANZSCO Code or nearest equivalent||ANZSCO Skill Level||Positive Skills Assessment||TSMIT Concession||English Concession||Permanent Pathway|
|Irrigation Designer/ Manager||234111*||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Protected Cropping Grower||070499*||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Horticulture Research &
|Horticulture Farm Manager||070499*||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Quality Assurance Manager||139914||1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Facility Plant Manager||149913*||2||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Fitter and Welder||323213||3||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Mobile Plant Operator||721111||4||Yes^||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Fork Lift Driver||721311||4||Yes^||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Machinery Manager||149913 or 149999*||4||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Cold Storage Manager||149999*||3||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Note: Labour market testing requirements for the standard TSS and SESR visa programs will need to be met.
* Where an occupation in the table above does not exist in ANZSCO, the closest equivalent occupation available under ANZSCO has been utilised. Where no close equivalent exists, code 070499 is used with the relevant skills/qualifications specified under the terms of each Labour Agreement.
^ Skill and qualification requirements will differ from those stipulated in ANZSCO and will be specified under the terms of each Labour Agreement.
What can a Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement be used for?
The Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement can be used by Australian employers for the following:
- Sponsor overseas workers for the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482) visa for a total of 31 approved occupations.
- Sponsor overseas workers for permanent residency under the:
- Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) (subclass 494) visa program with a permanent pathway to a Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) available after three years; or
- Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) visa program after a three or four year transitional period on a TSS visa—three years for approved Skill Level 1-3 occupations and four years for approved Skill Level 4-5 occupations.
- Access the following concessions to standard skilled visa requirements:
- Discount of up to 10% on the Temporary Skill Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) where it is demonstrated that equivalent Australian workers do not receive annual earnings of $53,900.
- A broader range of monetary payments (e.g. regularised overtime) and non-monetary benefits (e.g. accommodation) can be counted as guaranteed earnings.
- For the TSS visa—overseas workers must score at least IELTS 5.0 overall, and at least IELTS 4.0 in each individual component score. For the ENS and SESR visas—overseas workers must score at least IELTS 5.0 overall, and at least IELTS 4.5 in each individual component score.
- Overseas workers can be up to 50 years of age when they apply for an ENS or SESR visa.
Does the new Australia Horticulture Labour Agreement open up new opportunities for you down under? Let us know in our comments.