The Australian government just recently introduced modifications to multiple initiatives to enhance the ongoing labour crisis within the agriculture industry. You may have heard of the Seasonal Worker Program (SWP) or the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS), but now both of these are coming under the one program, the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme (PALM).

  • What does this all indicate?
  • And how will this affect the smaller farmer?

Well to comprehend how this can benefit you, let’s talk about each of these efforts and take a look at the case study of Queensland based agricultural compliance & labour-hire company IComply.

What Is The Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP)

Lots of farming companies count on a routine pattern of seasonal workers and a stable, permanent workforce for numerous seasons. Fruit and veg, in particular, are especially affected by seasonal work as growing these fruit and vegetables depend upon specific growing seasons. When these workers finish up on a farm after that farm stops yielding fruit or veggies, they head on to the next.

The seasonal worker program was created to provide farmers in horticulture and farming access to a dependable, returning labour force when there aren’t enough local Australian workers to satisfy seasonal demand.

What Is The Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS)

Comparable to the Seasonal Worker Programme, the Pacific Labour Scheme is developed to assist farmers to get workers. These workers are individuals from the Pacific island countries and are usually working in semi-skilled or low tasks in rural, regional or remote locations of Australia for as much as 3 years.

What Is The Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme (PALM)

Since April 2022, the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme allows eligible services that operate in rural and local Australia to recruit workers from pacific island countries and Timor-Leste.

As part of this federal government scheme, farmers will have the ability to utilize labour under both of the above schemes using a single PALM application form. This is intended to make the process of finding workers easier.

Under the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP), workers can be utilized for up to 9 months and can return in the following years.

Under the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS), workers can be used for between 1 and 3 years.

What does this mean for the small farmer?

COVID-19 has seriously affected worker schedules and supply chains. A lot of farmers were struck hardest by quarantine restrictions. Closed global borders and even domestic borders have implied that small companies were discovering it tough to get a stable labour force.

Just recently we have actually visited some of our clients out on their farms, to learn that they have been leaving some crops to rot on the vine, simply because there’s no one there to choose them. Other farmers are needing to select what crops to plant over the next few months, with the knowledge that there may not be a labour force to support it. This implies that smaller farms are finding themselves expensive and having a hard time making ends satisfy.

As a result of the pandemic, farmers have actually needed to anticipate and prepare for disturbances in supply chains and shipment logistics however the biggest concern has actually always been a need for much-needed labour.

Thanks to modifications to the PALM scheme, companies that make use of the Seasonal Worker Programme or Pacific Labour Scheme can have access to a trustworthy labour force that will supplement the recent labour crisis within agriculture. This suggests small-scale farmers can finally begin getting the yields and earnings they require to get their farms back on track.

Case Study: IComply

While the PALM scheme is a step in the ideal direction, there are numerous tough legal requirements and special conditions that company owners need to complete in order to be eligible for these programs.

As a busy smaller organization owner, you are most likely also the individual getting their hands unclean and working away on your farm simply to make sure it’s running smoothly. Finding the time to translate, understand and complete the paperwork and conditions needed in some cases just does not fit into your schedule.

IComply Horticultural Compliance Specialists are a PALM Scheme certified employer with the proper personnel to pre-select and train a capable and effective labour force to match your specific requirements.

As a company they don’t select individuals. They engage with their clientbase to get a clear understanding of their requirements, prior to going through a stringent pre-selection process and a reliable training program with their workers located in the eligible countries. This process allows IComply to maintain control over the quality of workers and guarantee they are all of the best calibres.
IComply selects and trains this qualified labour force of pacific country workers through our network of Pacific island affiliates. Supplying an unique level of training and guaranteeing the highest quality agricultural labour, and offering all the support you need to get this labour force carried out, IComply has the ability to ensure the farmers we take care of have a tension efficient and totally free experience with the Seasonal Worker Program and Pacific Labour Scheme.