The changes to employer sponsored programmes are forcing employers to look for further options to bring or retain international talent. 

Companies are able to enter into a labour agreement with the government which is a formal arrangement negotiated between an Australian employer and the Australian Government. Applying for a visa under a labour agreement is the only migration pathway for employers seeking to recruit overseas workers for semi-skilled positions, or skilled positions where they need concessions to mainstream visa requirements.

What exactly is a project agreement?

A project agreement allows project companies experiencing genuine skills or labour shortages access to temporary skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers through the subclass 482 visa to meet peak workforce demands during the construction phase of resource or infrastructure projects. 

Project agreements are a two-tiered agreement stream; the first tier consists of an overarching deed of agreement negotiated with a project company with the second tier comprising individual labour agreements with direct employers. They are available to project companies that own or manage the construction phase of large resources or infrastructure projects. 

Once an overarching deed of agreement is in place, employers may seek to be endorsed by the project company for a labour agreement.

Project companies with projects endorsed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade under the China-Australia Investment Facilitation Agreement can also request a project agreement.

A project company will negotiate an overarching deed of agreement with the Department of Home Affairs. Home Affairs then negotiate individual labour agreements directly with employers

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