The Australian Government’s Seasonal Worker Program (SWP) and Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) has opened a limited opportunity for hospitality and tourism businesses to participate in August this year. The Government has secured chartered flights and hotel quarantine and are offering tourism and hospitality businesses to source workers for the flight on 24 August 2021. These SWP/PLS flights are usually prioritised toward food production, and this is a once-off opportunity for the hospitality and tourism sector.
If you are interested in this possibility, please find further information in the DPIRD email and documents provided below.
There is also an information session available via Zoom on Monday 5 July at 10-11am. To register and receive the Zoom link, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note these programs continue to be open for food production workers as well.
Email from Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
The Australian Government’s Seasonal Worker Program (SWP) and Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) targets workers from Pacific Islands, who are primarily recruited from currently COVID-free Vanuatu, Tonga and Samoa.
Workers employed under the SWP are generally unskilled, can work up to nine months and must average 30 hours per week. Workers can return year after year to almost anywhere across the State.
The PLS brings semi-skilled workers from Pacific Islands that can stay for up to three years and must work 30 hours per week in regional/rural Australia. Employers must provide accommodation for the first 12 weeks. After this period, workers can explore their own accommodation options in consultation with the Worker Welfare Team and Approved Employer.
To access either the SWP or PLS programs, businesses must be a registered Approved Employer (AE). The process of becoming an AE usually takes 5-6 months. Alternatively, businesses can access the programs through third-party recruitment agencies who are already registered AEs. A list of registered AEs for the SWP is available here. A list of AEs under the PLS is attached.
In order to secure hotel quarantine capacity, DPIRD has reserved the Novotel Langley Perth Hotel for a period of 6 months. Noting the low (zero) recorded cases of community COVID transmission, this hotel is exclusively for use by Pacific Islander seasonal workers. The cost of this hotel is $1.6 million per month, irrespective of the number of beds utilised.
As you will see from the attached flight schedule, we have significant latent capacity in our August flights, as this represents a lull in seasonal demand for food production workers. The chartered Air Vanuatu flight has capacity for 162 passengers, and is chartered at a flat rate, irrespective of the number of seats filled. It is therefore more economical to fill the plane to capacity.
We would like to extend the opportunity to tourism and hospitality businesses to source workers for the flight on 24 August 2021. As final Chief Health Officer approval is required 5 weeks ahead of flight arrival, the timeframe to mobilise workers for the 24 August flight is considered tight, but achievable.
Please note, we have been given very strict instructions that these SWP/PLS flights are to be prioritised toward food production, and this is a once-off opportunity for the hospitality and tourism sector.
I would greatly appreciate if you could please reach out to your networks and encourage tourism and hospitality businesses to take up this limited opportunity.
If your stakeholders are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, an information forum (via Zoom) will be held on Monday 5 July at 10-11am. To register and receive the Zoom link, please email email@example.com. Alternatively, further information is available by contacting Labour Scheme Facilitator, Kit Sainsbury, at VegetablesWA (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will be able to outline the recruitment process.