First Enterprise Migration Agreement approved
Friday, 25 May 2012
Joint media release with Chris Bowen MP - Minister for Immigration and Citizenship and Martin Ferguson AO MP - Minister for Resources and Energy.
The Australian Government has approved its first Enterprise Migration Agreement (EMA), granted to the new iron ore mining Roy Hill project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, announced today.
Mr Bowen and the Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AO MP, said the first EMA was an important development in helping to meet critical skills shortages in the resources sector.
'The government's first priority is always ensuring jobs for Australian workers, but there is a need for temporary workers to help keep our economy strong,' Mr Bowen said.
'With more than 8000 workers required during the construction phase of the Roy Hill project, there simply aren't enough people in the local workforce to get the job done.'
EMAs are a custom-designed, project-wide migration arrangement uniquely suited to the resources sector, ensuring skill shortages do not create constraints on major projects or jeopardise Australian jobs.
Mr Bowen said the EMA would allow Roy Hill to sponsor up to 1715 workers for the three-year construction phase through the 457 visa program, where they cannot find Australians to fill the positions.
The project will support Australian jobs in the economy through training and apprenticeships, which are an integral part of the agreement, and follows rigorous consultation with state and territory governments, industry and unions.
'As part of the EMA, Roy Hill will provide up to 2000 training places for Australians. This includes places for more than 200 Australian apprentices and trainees, as well as preparing over 100 Indigenous Australians to work in the construction industry,' Mr Bowen said.
'The EMA also sets out protections to ensure that foreign workers are only recruited after genuine efforts to first employ Australians, and that visa holders engaged on the project receive the same wages and conditions as their Australian counterparts.
'Of course, the government is committed to ensuring jobs arising from the project are filled locally. To this end, the government will establish a Jobs Board, and expects that foreign workers are only recruited after genuine efforts to first employ Australians.'
The government will also ensure that visa holders are aware of their workplace rights and obligations through a specific induction program, as well as having information available in writing, online and through video presentations.
Mr Ferguson said the agreement with Roy Hill was the first of its kind and will ensure this major resources project gets off the ground and delivers long term jobs and benefits to the local community and broader Australian economy.
'This is a great outcome for the industry, that will create new jobs and opportunities for the local workforce and drive growth in the economy,' Mr Ferguson said.
'We need Enterprise Migration Agreements to cut red tape for very large resources projects such as Roy Hill which have a very strong demand for labour.
'EMAs address one of the biggest risks to many of these projects which is inadequate supply of labour and skills in the short-term construction phase.'
The EMA will come into effect shortly. More information on EMAs is available.
See: Fact Sheet 48a - Enterprise Migration Agreements
Last update: Friday, 25 May 2012 at 17:28 AEST