July 28, 2021 By: Deisy Patiño

9 things you need to know about the seasonal worker programme

The Seasonal Worker Programme is essential to both Australia and the participant country. The first seasonal worker program trial in Australia went from February 2009 to June 2012. It ran for three years in the farming industry.

The program has been very successful! As a result… more than 20,000 people have entered Australia through the program. Most importantly, Pacific workers have allowed unskilled, low-skilled and semi-skilled workers to fill labour shortages in Australia.

Every year hundreds of Pacific workers join the program with the idea of earning and saving enough money to meet their financial goals in their home country.

In this blog, I’m going to discuss 9 things you need to know about the Seasonal Worker Programme in Australia.

1. The seasonal worker programme objectives

The Seasonal Worker Program of SWP is essential and benefits both parties. According to the official website, the SWP has two key objectives:

– Assist employers in the agriculture and accommodation industries to fill employment gaps that the Australian workforce cannot meet.

– Contribute to the economic development of the participating countries: Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, PNG, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

9 things you need to know about the Seasonal Worker Programme
The Seasonal Worker Programme

2. How to apply for a the seasonal worker programme?

There are three ways to apply for the program. Most importantly pick the one that is suitable for your needs.

– A “work-ready pool”. This is a pre-selected group of workers.

– Recruitment with the help of a licensed agent.

– Direct recruitment from Approved Employers.

For more information about how to apply in your country check Pacific Australia Labour Movility here

The Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) builds on the success of the SWP. It is designed to help Australian businesses address chronic labour shortages and deliver a stable and productive workforce where local labour is not available.

The PALM enables citizens from 9 Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste to take up low-skilled and semi-skilled work opportunities in all sectors in rural and regional Australia for up to 3 years.

Pacific Labour Mobility

Eligible candidates

Some jobs require a lot of physical effort. You will need to be in good physical health and fitness are required for these roles.

Other important qualifications are good character, fit, strong, healthy, 21 years and over, commitment and intention to return to your home country, and citizenship from the participating countries (Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, PNG, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu).

3. What is the seasonal worker programme visa?

The seasonal worker program visa allows a person to work in Australia according to specific terms and conditions. The visa is based on an agreement between both countries that benefits both governments

To apply for the Temporary Work (Subclass 403 visa) visa under the Seasonal Worker stream, you must be sponsored by a Temporary Sponsor approved by the Department of Jobs and Small Business (DJSB).

The usual duration of stay for a (Subclass 403 visa) in this particular stream is up to 9 months.

The increased need for workers. Reason for the Australian government to extend the duration of the visa. Most importantly you can now stay for almost two years.

4. Is it easy to get a seasonal job?

Finding a job depends on the effort you put into it and is a personal matter. In the past, some food crops have been lost due to a lack of manpower to harvest them.

Therefore Australia needs people to come and work in rural and farming areas. In this wonderful country, most people prefer to live in cities and there are just not enough people who live on farms.

I can almost hear you thinking…

Is it easy to get a job? It’s not that difficult to get a job if you are healthy. You just need to follow the proper steps to get a job and get a visa.

Most jobs require long hours in the sun. You must be prepared for this challenge of physical strength. Some workers feel they underestimated how difficult the job could be. It gets better… they get used to it over time.

5. Where to find approved employers for the seasonal worker programme.

The Federal Government is in charge of approving employers. Businesses and employers must request approval before they can hire temporary workers through the program:

– Entity incorporated in Australia or a formal partnership with a valid ABN.

– Is an ‘organisation’ according to the Migration Regulations 1994.

– Is committed to employing Australian job seekers first.

– Has good workplace relations and immigration practices.

– Has an understanding of an approved employer’s obligations under the SWP.

For a listing of current Approved Employers click here.

6. How much does a seasonal worker get paid?

You can be paid in two ways depending on the initial agreement in your contract:

– Payment for the amount picked, packed, pruned or made.

– Payment by the hour. You will be paid a fairly per hour worked.

To sum up, make sure you understand the payment you are going to receive and the conditions. If your level of English is not good and you need help to understand the contract, you can get an interpreter to help you.

7. What are examples of seasonal worker jobs?

Firstly there are several types of jobs you can apply for through the program. Secondly depending on your individual abilities, level of English and preferences.

Accommodation Sector

This includes bar attendants, baristas, waiters, café workers, garden labourers, housekeepers, kitchen hands and cleaners.

Aquaculture Work

This includes attending mooring pens, general maintenance duties, feeding, washing and changing nets, moving materials and equipment, harvesting and husbanding fish, loading, unloading, moving, packing and construction of shellfish culture mediums, operating mechanical equipment.

Horticulture Work


– Flowers, fruit, grain, nuts, turf, vegetables, and other crops

– Using indoor or covered growing techniques and technology

– Horticulture, aquaculture, cane sugar and cotton growing industries.

9. How to send money back home

One of the concerns of temporary workers is how to send money home. Some send money home and end up paying large amounts of money in bank fees.

On the other hand, some lose money when they try to change the cash when they return home.

But there’s a better way!

Mobile Money is a way your beneficiary in their home country can receive money from you instantly on their mobile phone without the need for a bank account. Is one of the cheapest, fastest, and most convenient ways to send money home.

Check with your mobile phone company for more details. Rocket Remit is an Australian service that you can use to send your money home to your loved ones using Mobile Money.

Let me break this down for you…

Firstly, your beneficiary will need to be registered with a mobile phone company and have a compatible mobile money account.

Secondly, load your Rocket Remit account via bank transfer, BPAY, POLi or branch deposit at any ANZ Bank branch or ATM.

If you don’t have a Rocket Remit account, you will need to register. You will need to have an Australian mobile number and an Australian address. To Register, click sign up on the home page.

Further, you can send money online. It’s really simple and quick to use. All you need is the beneficiary’s mobile number’ name and address and the money will be transferred instantly.

About Rocket Remit

Rocket Remit is the worlds fastest international money transfer service. Send money instantly to over 45 overseas countries at very competitive rates.

Use the country selector to choose the country and check the rate.

Click here for more information on how to send money using Rocket Remit.

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