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March 1, 2021

Regional Labour Agreements

Labour agreements enable approved businesses to sponsor skilled overseas workers when there is a demonstrated need that cannot be met in the Australian labour market and where standard temporary or permanent visa programs are not available.

Labour agreements are developed between the Australian Government (represented by the Department) and employers. They are generally in effect for five years and provide for visas to be granted under one or more of the following visa programs:


The 9 current updated industry agreements can be viewed here: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/employing-and-sponsoring-someone/sponsoring-workers/nominating-a-position/labour-agreements

With international border being closed and number of Working Holiday makers in Australia being reduced, farmers are finding it difficult to source skilled workers especially when demand for Australian made and grown products is increasing. One option for these businesses is to sponsor overseas workers (including those who are currently in Australia) through a Labour Agreement.

Businesses can lodge a Labour Agreement request, which will be assessed by the Department of Immigration. If approved, Labour Agreements enable businesses to sponsor workers for occupations that might not be available through the usual temporary or permanent visa programs.

There are several different types of Labour Agreements, including Company Specific agreements and Industry labour agreements. For example, farming and agricultural businesses may be interested in Industry Labour Agreements such as the Pork, Dairy and Horticulture Labour Agreements.

Pork Labour Agreement

The Pork Labour Agreement allows businesses to nominate Senior Stockpersons (Piggery).

This popular occupation covers the following duties and tasks:

  • Supervising the site and facility;
  • Selecting breeding stock and/or stock for sale;
  • Participating in daily inspection of livestock and ensuring animals are appropriately watered, fed, and treated (if necessary); and
  • Supervising mating of animals and birthing process.

Applicants will need to have at least an AQF Certificate III in Agriculture (Pig Production) or equivalent and three years of recent relevant work experience in a commercial piggery, or five years of recent and relevant work experience.

There are no salary concessions meaning that salaries will need to meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (‘TSMIT’), which is currently $53,900. There are no English language concessions (standard TSS/ENS requirements need to be met) and applicants will need to be less than 45 years of age at the time of applying for an ENS or SESR visa.


According to the 2020 PTE and IELTS Concordance Report, PTE Academic scores are only adjusted in comparison with IELTS Academic tests. The alignment of PTE Academic to TOEFL and the industry-standard used to describe language proficiency, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), has not changed.

At IELTS 6.5 and below the concordant PTE Academic scores, while in the same range, are at some points lower on the scale.

At IELTS 7.5 and above, the concordant PTE Academic scores, while in the same range, are at some points higher on the scale.

PTE is adjusting some scores on their test to better align with the IELTS standards. Immigration Department is still accepting scores as per current regulations and are unlikely to apply the changes to already-lodged applications.

More information can be found here: https://pearsonpte.com/articles/2020-pte-and-ielts-concordance-report-summary-and-faqs/


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