The Northern Territory Government is working closely with members of the Northern Territory (NT) community to identify ways in which skilled workers from Greece can access employment opportunities in the NT that cannot be filled locally.
The NT is currently going through a period of considerable growth with many local workers being attracted to the high wages on offer in the major mining and resource projects. This is leaving many NT small business operators with workforce shortages.
The NT has one of Australia’s lowest unemployment rates and there are high demands for workers in a range of industry sectors.
The Northern Territory will always look to training of local workers or attracting people from interstate as the preferred options for filling workforce shortages. However past experience has shown, despite every effort training and national workforce attraction activities will not satisfy workforce demands in the small business community.
There are a range of skilled visas that enable skilled overseas workers to be sponsored by employers to fill skill shortages in Australia.
NT employers are already sponsoring overseas skilled workers from a range of countries on these visas. However research suggests that overseas workers who have family or friendship networks in a region are more likely to stay, integrate quicker into the community and ultimately give back to it. This suggests that a project to explore opportunities to attract skilled workers from Greece has merit given the vibrant Greek community based in the NT.
NT employers seeking to sponsor overseas workers must be approved by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). To do this they must meet a range of eligibility criteria.
Employer nominated visa options
There are a range of migration options for employers seeking to recruit to hard-to-fill vacancies, and Greek Nationals who are seeking skilled work opportunities.
If NT employers have exhausted all options of employing to skilled / semi-skilled positions, locally or from other Australian states and are considering an overseas worker from Greece, there are a number of visa options available.
Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visa employee elegibility
The Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visa enables Northern Territory employers to sponsor overseas skilled workers on a temporary visa for between one day and four years.
The occupation must be skilled and listed on the DIBP Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL).
To be filled, the employer must offer overseas workers Australian employment terms and conditions, and the position must have a base salary of no less than $53 990 per annum of the market salary rate whichever is the higher.
The employer must also meet a number of eligibility DIBP criteria to be approved as a sponsor, for example, lawfully operating, unable to recruit an Australian worker and meet one of two training benchmarks.
Nominated overseas workers must have vocational English (International English Language Testing System (IELTS) of 5 in writing, reading, speaking and listening.
Greek overseas workers must be able to demonstrate that they have the qualifications / skills / work experience equivalent to the official occupation description in the Australian New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).
Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement
The Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) is a special arrangements program of the Subclass 457 visa. It enables NT employers to sponsor some occupations that are not currently available under the standard Subclass 457 visa arrangements and allows some concessions for English and salary levels.
Only occupations listed on the NT DAMA list can be nominated - currently 16 occupations, including some semi-skilled ones. Stage 2 of the NT DAMA has more occupations including many trade occupations.
Overseas workers must be able to show through independent, verifiable evidence that they meet the skills requirements (can be work experience for most occupations).
The English level is IELTS average 5 which is a little lower than for the standard Subclass 457 visa.
The employer must be endorsed by the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation to access the NT DAMA and then be approved as a sponsor by DIBP.
The employer must be lawfully operating and demonstrate they are unable to recruit an Australian worker to the position.
Training and Research (Subclass 402) visa
Eligible NT employers can sponsor suitably qualified and / or experienced overseas workers to gain work experience in selected industry sectors or to upgrade their skills to meet Australian qualification and / or licensing standards.
The Occupdational Trainee visa stream under the Trainee and Research (Subclass 402) visa allows NT employers to sponsor overseas workers for up to 24 months to undertake structured workplace-based training to enhance their skills in their current occupation, for example, trades people to meet Australian qualification or licensing standards.
Overseas workers with experience in an occupation can undertake training or practical experience in a work place to enable them to register or licence in the occupation in Australia, enhance existing skills and promote capacity building.
To be eligible the occupation must be on the DIBP Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List and identified as in shortage in the NT.
The employer must be approved by DIBP as Training and Research Sponsor.
For trade occupations, overseas candidates will be assessed to identify and the level of ‘gap training’ that will be necessary for them to meet the Australian standard for an occupation.
The Occupational Trainee visa holder will need to work for the NT employer under suitably qualified / experienced supervision and undertake gap training until they achieve the level of competency required.
On completion they are issued a Certificate of Completion (Trade Certificate) from the NT Employment and Training Authority.
Work visa pathways for Occupational Trainee visa holders for longer term work visas, are through the Subclass 457 Visa or the Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme if they meet eligibility requirements.
While there is no specific English language level required for an Occupational Trainee, DIBP has a focus on overseas workers having an English language level sufficient for them to successfully complete the training they are undertaking.
For more information
Local: 8999 5264
National: (08) 8999 5264
International: +61 8 8999 5264
Toll Free: 1800 006 282 (within Australia)