Frequently Asked Questions about the Seasonal Worker Programme

Frequently Asked Questions about the Seasonal Worker Programme.

What is the Seasonal Worker Programme?

The Seasonal Worker Programme assists Australian employers in the agriculture sector nationwide, accommodation sector (in selected locations) and tourism sector (the Northern Australia tourism pilot) that are unable to find enough local Australian labour by providing access to workers from Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste. Seasonal workers can return in following seasons, providing employers with access to a reliable, returning workforce.

The programme contributes to the economic development of eligible Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste by providing access to low and unskilled work opportunities in Australia.

Which countries are currently participating in the Seasonal Worker Programme?

Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

How long is the duration of employment for seasonal workers?

Employers can employ seasonal workers from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga and Vanuatu for a maximum period of 6 consecutive months. The seasonal workers must return home for a minimum of 5 months before coming back to Australia in the programme.

Seasonal workers from Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu may be employed for a maximum period of 9 consecutive months.

Why are seasonal workers from Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu allowed to work for up to nine months?

This is due to the higher costs of transportation to and from Australia for citizens of these countries and the extra time allows these workers to earn more money to repay these costs.

Types of industries available

Employers can fill low and unskilled seasonal vacancies in:

  • Agriculture industries that fall under the Pastoral Award 2010
  • Horticulture
  • Cane
  • Cotton
  • Aquaculture
  • Accommodation (selected locations)
  • Tourism pilot (Northern Australia only)

Please visit "Jobs for seasonal workers" to learn more about what work these industries cover.

Are there additional learning opportunities that seasonal workers can undertake during their stay in Australia?

Yes, the Add-on Skills Training component of the programme allows seasonal workers to access basic training in First Aid, English, numeracy and IT skills. These skills can help seasonal workers while on the job in Australia and when they return to their home country.

For more information on the Add-on Skills Training component, visit our "Add-on Skills Training".

Who pays for Add-on Skills Training?

The Australian Government funds Add-on Skills Training for seasonal workers. There is no cost to the seasonal worker or the approved employer.