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Labour Agreements: Sponsoring Skilled Employees to work in Australia

Labour Agreements for Sponsoring overseas employees to work in Australia

July 2021

Labour Agreements

Did you know that businesses in Australia can sponsor skilled overseas workers in certain industries, even where standard temporary or permanent visa programs do not cater to the particular occupation(s)?

There are currently nine (9) industries which may enter into a labour agreement with the Department to sponsor a foreign worker for employment. These industry labour agreements and the occupations which can be utilised under each labour agreement include the –

1. Dairy Industry Labour Agreement;

  • Senior Dairy Cattle Farm Worker

2. Fishing Industry Labour Agreement;

  • Deck Hand
  • Fishing Hand
  • Master Fisher
  • Ship’s Engineer
  • Ship’s Master
  • Ship’s Officer

3. Meat Industry Labour Agreement;

  • Skilled Meat Worker

4. Minister of Religion Labour Agreement;

  • Minister of Religion
  • Religious Assistant

5. On-hire Industry Labour Agreement;

  • Any occupation in the occupation lists for the Subclass 482 visa, which you can assign to work for a third party although you must remain the employer.

6. Pork Industry Labour Agreement;

  • Senior stockperson (piggery)

7. Restaurant (Fine Dining) Industry Labour Agreement;

  • Chef
  • Cook
  • Trade Waiter

8. Advertising Industry Labour Agreement; and

  • Advertising Specialist
  • Graphic Designer
  • Copywriter
  • Multimedia Designer
  • Web Developer

9. Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement;

  • Irrigation Designer/ Manager
  • Agronomist
  • Entomologist
  • Horticulture Grower
  • Protected Cropping Grower
  • Horticulture Research & Development Officer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Horticulture Farm Manager
  • Quality Assurance Manager
  • Biosecurity Officer
  • Facility Plant Manager
  • Facility Supervisor
  • Maintenance Electrician
  • Fitter and Welder
  • Agriculture Technician
  • Mechanic
  • Senior Nurseryperson
  • Nurseryperson
  • Nursery Supervisor
  • Truck Driver
  • Mobile Plant Operator
  • Fork Lift Driver
  • Irrigationist
  • Irrigationist Assistant
  • Horticulture Section Manager
  • Section Supervisor
  • Production Horticulture Supervisor
  • Production Horticulturist
  • Machinery Manager
  • Machinery Supervisor
  • Cold Storage Manager

Under the existing labour agreement arrangements, prospective employers can enter into a labour agreement with the Australian government, to sponsor employees for one or more of the following visas:

  • Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visa;
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa; and/or
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (Subclass 494) visa.

Labour agreements are generally valid for a period of five (5) years, during which the employers can sponsor persons for one or more of the above visa subclasses in accordance with the nomination ceiling as specified in the labour agreement (i.e. number of nominations that an approved sponsor can have approved in any year). Approved sponsors can apply to the Department for a variation of the nomination ceiling where necessary, with the requisite documentary evidence demonstrating this business need.

To speak with an experienced, specialist immigration lawyer regarding your Australian visa application or options, please contact us on +61 3 9329 8744 or by email at

Phone Erskine Rodan & Associates
+61 3 9329 8744
Fax Erskine Rodan & Associates
+61 3 9328 4191
Email Erskine Rodan & Associates
Erskine Rodan & Associates
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