Australian primary producers told to apply for Australian visas earlier
Australia, 18th November: Primary producers in Australia are being urged to make applications for their Australian visas at the earliest if they wish to use Pacific seasonal workers as workforce this harvest season.
The number of available Australian visas in PSWPS(Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme) is limited and in the wake of a bumper crop in the country, the growers are being asked by the government for getting their applications at the earliest possible time.
According to an official spokesperson of the DIAC(Department of Immigration and Citizenship), the nation expects a really good crop this season and due to shrinking number of working holiday makers as well as traditional sources of harvest labor, producers will need higher workforce as compared to the previous seasons.
No wonder, many producers are left with no option but to seek out-of-area team of workers from the PSWPS, the official spokesman of the Australian immigration department maintained.
The PSWPS is entrusted with handling the hiring process for employers by providing short-term Australian work visas to foreign workers thereby significantly cutting the risk of shortage of workforce during peak seasons.
The pilot scheme of PSWPS, which was introduced way back in August 2008, has not been a success since its launch as just 150 workers hailing from countries including Tonga, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Papua New Guinea have joined the program.
The scheme allowed Australian farm producers to hire unskilled workers from the above named Pacific Island nations for a maximum period of up to six months every year.
A similar program, which was introduced only a few months earlier than Australia, is working quite successfully in neighboring nation New Zealand with around eighty thousand workers participated.
According to the director of Development Policy Center of the Australian National University, Professor Stephen Howes, the New Zealand experience proves that the scheme is doing well and there is a need to know exactly why this program is not working well in Australia so that the program begins giving benefits.
Professor Howes has already bugun a research to know the reasons behind the failure of the scheme in Australia.