New changes to address severe skill shortages in Australia

The Australian Government has announced new changes to business sponsorship processes in an attempt to address the growing issue of severe skills shortage.

Since the introduction of Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482), Australia has seen a 28% decline in sponsored visas granted.

The popularity of the TSS visa has resulted in many businesses being left in the dark, with nowhere to turn when it comes to finding employees to fill the skill shortages in their business. 

So, where to go next?

In response to this growing skill shortage issue, the Australian Government has announced that there will be an additional three Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs) for the following regions 

  • Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia (Goldfields)
  • Regional South Australia
  • Adelaide City

This five-year agreement with these three regions will assist a range of industries such as engineering, construction, mining, health and childcare, helping to increase economic performance and fill employment gaps. 

The Kalgoorlie Boulder DAMA will have 500 spots available per year, covering 73 occupations.

The Adelaide City Technology and Innovation Advancement DAMA will cover 60 occupations and offer up to 300 places per year. 

Under the Regional South Australia DAMA, there will be up to 750 spots available per year, covering 117 occupations.

What is a DAMA?

A Designated Area Migration Agreement is a formal agreement between a specific regional area and the Australian government, which focuses upon filling skills shortages that exist in the area that cannot be filled by the local labour market.

The DAMA is a two-tier agreement that establishes collaborative arrangements, with shared responsibilities and roles, between the Australian government and state, or regional and territory authorities. DAMAs are a customised arrangement that seeks to respond to labour needs, through tailored solutions.

What is different about a DAMA? 

The holistic nature of a DAMA gives employers the opportunity to streamline access to a broader scope of overseas workers, compared to what is available under the standard subclass 482 visa programme.

It also allows employers to take a backseat in the arrangement, as they are no longer required to individually negotiate the terms and conditions of the labour agreement.

DAMAs will be an attractive option for small businesses, who often do not possess the resources needed to create a labour agreement with the government.

The DAMAs established in each state, or territory will be slightly different, however there are key elements for DAMA, which are similar to a labour agreement and will be transferable across all areas. These include:

  •  Possible pathways to reach permanent residency for those that hold a DAMA visa (this may include transitional arrangements for existing visa holders)
  • Extensive list of occupants that reflects semi-skilled and skilled shortages, with no caveats
  • Some occupants may have English language concessions
  • State-to-state approach to salary concessions, to ensure the worker terms and conditions of employment are not eradicated, and businesses and customers are not subjected to inflationary costs
  • Diverse range of risk and integrity actions, that uphold and protect the rights of employees and employers

Can I access the DAMA in my region? 

Businesses are able to access the DAMA if they;

  • Are actively operating in a particular state;
  • Are relatively successful and have been operating for at least 12 months;
  • Do not have a history of breaching business sponsorship obligations;
  • Are wanting to employ migrants to work in full-time positions, with duties and responsibilities that reflect the standard of the visa category and the occupation on the State Specific DAMA list;
  • Can prove that they are unable to fill the position through local labour market; and
  • Can give overseas workers the same terms and conditions that are offered to Australian workers employed in the region

For further information about these new agreements, book your free consultation today and speak to one of our experienced immigration lawyers here at Results Migration. Give Results Migration a call on 1800 808 717 or email us on and book your free consultation today!


By |March 28th, 2019|General news|Comments Off on New changes to address severe skill shortages in Australia

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