Migration Mentor Felix Carao

To our kababayans who are losing hope of migrating to Australia because of tighter and more stringent immigration criteria, this new development in Victoria might interest you.

The Morrison Government is working to support the growth of regions and to match our migration program with labour market needs, particularly in regional Australia.

The first priority of the government is always to fill jobs with Australians, but the immigration system can play an important role in helping to address regional skills gaps.

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has recently implemented Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs) in a number of regions including Kalgoorlie in WA, Orana in NSW and Far North Queensland, ensuring regional economies are supported where Australian workers are not available.

In Victoria, a new program to tackle labour shortages in Victoria’s Great South Coast region has been officially launched in Warrnambool. The Great South Coast Designated Area Migration Agreement (GSC DAMA) provides an opportunity for regional employers to be endorsed to hire overseas workers for roles that cannot be filled by Australian residents.

The DAMA is an Australian Government initiative with the Great South Coast DAMA, a first for Victoria and the first to be driven by local Government.

 The GSC DAMA is a targeted program, and it’s important to understand that workers appointed through the GSC DAMA are not replacing local workers; they are filling gaps in the labour market which have been holding some businesses back.

This DAMA will mean that businesses in the Great South Coast can remain productive and competitive. The regions covered by the DAMA includes the Glenelg, Moyne, Southern Grampians, Warrnambool, Corangamite and Colac-Otway municipalities.

A total of 27 skilled and semi-skilled occupations have been identified as eligible for consideration through the program and are across a variety of industries.

The main difference of the DAMA as compared to the standard business sponsorship process is that the DAMA provides concessions not normally available to visa workers, and most importantly offers a potential pathway to permanent residency for employees.


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