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Everything you need to know about the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme

Do you struggle to find enough local workers to meet demand? Or perhaps it’s becoming more challenging to maintain a productive workforce in peak seasons? Labour Solutions Australia (LSA) offers a proactive solution to overcome these challenges, through the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme.

So, what exactly is the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme?

The PALM scheme is a newly created Australian Government initiative. It connects eligible businesses with reliable workers from the Pacific Islands and Timor-Leste. The scheme aims to fill labour shortages where local labour is not available, particularly in regional and remote locations.

As an accredited and trusted supplier of the scheme, we connect businesses like yours with dependable workers for seasonal jobs of up to nine months, and longer-term roles of up to four years. This includes unskilled, low-skilled and semi-skilled positions.

The PALM scheme streamlines Australia’s Pacific labour mobility approach – combining the previously separated Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) and Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP).

 

Why was the Pacific Labour Scheme and Seasonal Worker Programme reformed into the PALM scheme?

It was consolidated and reformed to create a single efficient program. This streamlined approach has simplified administration and reduced duplication. It also offers greater flexibility. Australian businesses now have more options when choosing if they need to fill seasonal positions, or longer-term roles.

Under the PALM scheme, workers can obtain extended visas of up to four years, with the provision for multiple entries into Australia. This can provide your business with increased workforce stability and retention. Plus, save you significant costs involved with training a new labour force each year.

Which countries are involved?

The following nine Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste are currently participating in the PALM scheme:

  • Fiji

  • Kiribati

  • Nauru

  • Samoa

  • Tonga

  • Tuvalu

  • Vanuatu

  • Papua New Guinea

  • Solomon Islands

  • Timor-Leste.

These countries are culturally vibrant and diverse. PALM scheme workers bring attributes and qualities that make them well suited to many different types of roles and industries within Australia.

How will my business benefit from the PALM scheme?

There are so many benefits for eligible businesses, with the most obvious access to a low-cost and productive workforce. As an accredited supplier of this initiative, we offer businesses like yours:

  • A hassle-free approach. We manage the entire recruitment and onboarding process from start-to-finish. This frees you up to focus on what you do best - running your business. We look after:

    • Visa applications and immigration requirements

    • Chartering of flights

    • Worker support and pastoral care.

  • A safe and ethical approach, ensuring we meet the highest standards - certified under ISO 9001, 4801, 18001 and 17020. Partnering with a trusted and compliant supplier such as LSA is vital, particularly with everchanging legislation and HR requirements.

  • Reduced training costs and increased staff retention, by eliminating the lengthy process of sourcing and training a new workforce each year.

  • Increased output and productivity due to increased access to labour, particularly in peak seasons when labour challenges and shortages typically arise.

  • Hard-working and reliable workers for even those ‘impossible to fill roles’ in regional and remote areas.

How will the PALM scheme workers benefit?

The PALM scheme offers so many opportunities for Pacific Island and Timorese workers, including:

  • The potential to earn a higher income than they’d typically get back home.

  • Workers can then send home this income, to support their families. This stimulates the economy of the participating countries and their local communities.

  • Workers are exposed to invaluable new experiences and growth opportunities. This includes learning and developing many transferable skills throughout their time in Australia.

  • For long-term workers of the scheme, there is opportunity to complete qualifications, offering the prospect of higher earnings and career growth.

  • The PALM scheme will continue to deliver strong protection for workers. Participating individuals are protected in the same way as Australian workers, and have the same rights.

Labour Solutions Australia provides welfare programs and ongoing support for workers. This is in addition to the PALM scheme Skills Development Program. The Program helps both workers and employers by developing workers’ technical knowledge and skills, which in turn helps to increase your business’ productivity.

 

What happens now with current workers employed under the Pacific Labour Scheme or Seasonal Worker Programme?

If your business has already employed workers under the PLS or SWP, their visas will remain valid, and they can continue to work in their current roles.

The new integration of the PALM scheme will cause minimal disruption to our current work placements, or recruitment processes already underway.

 

Is my business eligible to participate in the PALM scheme?

There’s a number of eligibility requirements that need to be met to qualify for the scheme. Contact us today to find out if your business is eligible. We can guide you through the entire process, and formulate a uniquely tailored solution to meet your workforce needs.