In a bid to fill skill gaps in the regional areas of Australia, the Govt. has opened doors for low-skilled workers. It has also lowered the English requirements for PR for them. Australia has now forged a pathway to PR for these workers.
The Govt. has signed a special visa agreement with Victoria. The agreement will give employers access to a wide range of occupations not available under standard visas. The special visa agreement is called the Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA).
Under the DAMA, the requirement for language, income, and skills will be lowered. It will also offer a pathway to Australian PR.
David Coleman, Immigration Minister, said that the DAMA will aim at meeting the workforce requirement of the Australian regions. He also said that the Govt. is trying to improve the migration system to meet the specific needs of specific locations. The Great South Coast region of Victoria has been struggling with labour shortage for quite some time now.
Northern Territory already had a DAMA in place but it did not offer a pathway to PR. It will sign a new DAMA shortly once the old agreement expires by the end of the year.
Selena Uibo, Workforce Minister for NT, said that the new agreement will help the economy of NT. Employers in NT would be able to access 117 occupations to meet the workforce requirements.
The pathway to PR will likely be the biggest attraction for foreign workers to Australia. The Govt. may make a mandatory stay of 5 years in the regional areas as eligibility criteria for Australian PR.
The Dept. of Home Affairs, however, said that the terms of the agreements would be tailored to meet the specific needs of a region. Migrants seeking Australian PR will need to complete the mandated stay in regional areas before they can apply for it.
The NT Govt. has confirmed that DAMA visa holders will need to complete a stay of 3 years in the recent 4 years. Employers in NT will then be able to sponsor these low-skilled workers for a PR, as per SBS News.
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