What do I Need to Know About the New Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement?
A recent change to the Skilled Migration Program means that aged care providers in Australia can now apply to access the new Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement. This agreement is designed to streamline the recruitment of qualified direct care workers from overseas, to work in the Australian aged care sector. The direct care workers listed under this agreement include: Nursing Support Workers, Personal Care Assistants, and Aged or Disabled Carers. There are two visa categories under which aged care providers may sponsor these workers, including the Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa, and the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa. Visa applications and migration are a serious and complex process, which is where the expertise of a professional Australian immigration consultant comes in.
What is the Purpose of the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement?
The Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement is designed to be used by aged care providers to do one of two things:
- Sponsor overseas workers for the Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa
- Sponsor overseas workers for permanent residence under the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa program. For this category, the worker being nominated must have at least two full years of full-time work experience in Australia in one of the relevant direct care occupations. These two years of work experience are not tied to any particular visa subclass, or particular employer.
- Extra Fact (1) The Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa
Under this visa, Australian employers may nominate skilled international workers, when they are unable to find an appropriate skilled worker here in Australia. If successful, the visa holder may work within Australia, and also may have a pathway to permanent residency.
- Extra Fact (2) The Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)
This is an employee sponsored visa which allows Australian employers to nominate a skilled international worker to work at their Australian business. This is allowable when the employer cannot find an appropriate skilled worker in Australia. If the visa is granted, the visa holder can work in their nominated occupation within Australia, and have permanent residency.
How Can I Apply for the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement?
One of the most critical steps towards accessing the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement is that Australian aged care providers must enter into an MoU with a relevant union.
- What is an MoU?
You might be wondering what is meant by MoU. In this case, MoU stands for Memorandum of Understanding.
This term refers to a document, or a ‘high level’ agreement, which establishes a framework for collaboration between two organisations. Typically, an MoU does not deal in the specifics of particular projects.
The relevant unions for direct care workers include:
After the memorandum of understanding has been established, the aged care provider may submit the labour agreement request to the Department of Home Affairs.
To find out more information about entering into a memorandum of understanding for the purposes of the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement, you can contact the relevant industry union.
What are the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement Terms and Concessions?
The following concessions to standard skilled visa requirements may be accessed:
- A two-year pathway to permanent residence in Australia through the Employer Nomination Scheme
- Streamlined visa nomination and priority application processing
- No post-qualification work experience requirement
- English language concessions for workers with relevant community language skills
- An annual salary of at least $51,222 AUD, or alternatively the Australian Market Salary Rate, whichever is higher
Below are the key visa application requirements:
- Hold a relevant AQF Certificate III, or a higher qualification. You may also have 12 months of relevant work experience or part time equivalence
- You must obtain a positive skills assessment from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council or the Australian Community Workers Association if you obtained your qualification overseas. This requirement also applies if you are claiming work experience in lieu of the formal qualifications
- Have an English language proficiency level of at least IELTS 5.0 or equivalent. Workers with target community language skills employed by culturally and linguistically diverse aged care providers need at least IELTS 4.5 or equivalent.
The labour market testing requirements are satisfied once aged care providers have entered into an MoU with the relevant union(s).
Do You Need an Australian Immigration Consultant?
Navigating the visa application process is complex, time-consuming, and challenging. When you need the expertise of a trusted Australian immigration consultant, look no further than AIVS. As registered migration agents in Melbourne, our consultants have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through the Temporary Skills Shortage (subclass 482) visa process, or the Employer Sponsored Visa (subclass 186) visa process. Whether you need help navigating the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement or another type of visa, our team of experts is ready to assist.