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Expansion of Pacific Seasonal Workers pilot scheme

Expansion of Pacific Seasonal Workers pilot scheme

THU 08 SEPTEMBER 2011

Prime Minister

Prime Minister Julia Gillard today announced that Nauru, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu have been invited to join the Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme.

This will provide an important economic boost to communities in our Pacific neighbourhood and offer Australian producers an avenue to source workers, where seasonal demands outstrip the local supply of labour.

Workers from Nauru, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu will have the opportunity to join those from Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Vanuatu participating in the pilot scheme.

Under the pilot scheme, Pacific workers come to Australia for four to six months to work for horticultural enterprises who demonstrate that they cannot find enough local labour to meet their seasonal harvest needs.

With over 560 workers recruited so far, the pilot scheme is delivering benefits to participating Pacific countries.  Workers remit money back home, benefiting their families and broader communities.

In Australia, the pilot scheme is delivering productivity gains for the horticulture industry, particularly in regional areas where access to a reliable labour supply has been a longstanding challenge.

Demand for Pacific seasonal workers by the horticulture industry is increasing following the introduction of more flexible arrangements by the Australian Government in December 2010 and as the horticulture industry recovers from the severe drought and floods.

The expansion reflects strong support for the scheme from Pacific countries and the Australian horticulture sector.

IELTS DILEMMA

IELTS DILEMMA -                                                                                                                                                  6 June 2015

The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) requires, (unless there are concessions)  a minimum score of 5 in each of the 4 parts of the Test, reading, writing, comprehension and listening, for temporary visas.  Permanent residence visas generally require minimum score 6, however as the General Skilled Migration visa does not allocate points for English unless the applicant achieves at least score 7, 7 or a higher score is often sought by applicants.  This has resulted in availability of many English courses, some of which are not satisfactory or particularly geared to passing the particular testing standards and criteria of the IELTS.  It has also resulted in applicants sitting the IELTS many times and spending cumulatively into the thousands (hundreds on each occasion) due to inconsistent scores in each part of the Test on each occasion.  A solution would be to not require the applicant to resit the part of the test in which the applicant has achieved a satisfactory score, only requiring reassessment and payment for the parts in which the score was unsatisfactory.

Jasmine Ruffilli