Workers from Laos and other ASEAN nations are to be granted the opportunity to work in Australia’s agricultural sector under a new farm work visa scheme.
The new visa scheme will enable agricultural workers from ten Southeast Asian countries to work in Australia following a shortage of farm workers in the country.
Workers from Laos, as well as Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam will be offered the chance to work on Australian farms under the scheme.
The scheme comes after Australia recently brokered a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom which would end a requirement for British backpackers to work on Australian farms for 88 days under a working-holiday visa, causing a critical labor shortage.
Australia has begun looking toward Southeast Asia for fresh farmhands to replace of some 10,000 young British workers previously employed by the country.
The farm work visa project was discussed during talks between Australian Ambassador to Laos, Paul Kelly, and Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Ms. Khambay Khattiya on Friday, according to KPL.
Minister Khambay said during talks with the Australian ambassador that this new cooperation would be approved by the governments of both countries.
The visa will be for three years and will provide workers from ASEAN with six to nine months of work, according to ABC News.
Workers will be required to return to their home country for three months of the year, each year, over the three years.