Visas For The Aged Care Industry Workers – Temporary to Permanent Residence Pathway
The government has reintroduced or more correctly revisited the vexing issue of Aged Care Labour Agreements to support migrant communities. The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman announced the move to formalise the Aged Care Labour Agreement earlier this week in a bid to support migrant communities. Aged Care providers would have the option of utilising the Subclass 482 or Subclass 186 visa schemes subject to meeting labour market testing requirements. These would effectively require the Aged Care Provider to prove that they can not source qualified staff from Australian Citizens and Permanent residents.
In practice, Aged care providers would then be able to hire overseas workers with specialised skills that will support older Australians from multicultural backgrounds. The visa arrangements will allow aged care facilities to access a personalised visa arrangement to hire employees with the skills to cater for the needs of their communities’ elderly.
“… Aged care providers have identified a need for bilingual carers, as elderly people or those with dementia may revert to their native language or lose the ability to speak a second language,” Mr Coleman said.
“This visa arrangement demonstrates the Government’s commitment to migrant communities and those organisations who care for Australia’s elderly … [to] … greatly assist them in finding the right staff to deliver vital aged care services … labour agreements will enable aged care providers to deliver specialised services that better understand a residents’ cultural needs.”
However, this is not such a new initiative. Former Deputy Immigration Minister Michaela Cash approved a similar scheme in August 2014 with Union support for aged Australians of Greek origins https://www.australianageingagenda.com.au/2014/08/08/govt-fronditha-strike-deal-recruit-overseas-care-workers/ . The then Assistant Minister stepped into the application process after being altered to the systematic and endemic processing delays the Department had seemingly implemented to stall such programs. Minister Coleman hasn’t yet addressed how he intends to prevent Departmental inaction and processing delays on the newly announced Labour Agreements.