Vietnamese workers first to get Australia's agriculture visas

By Viet Anh, Hong Chau   March 29, 2022 | 08:45 pm PT
Vietnamese workers first to get Australia's agriculture visas
Vietnamese farmers harvest dragon fruit in Ham Thuan Bac District, Binh Thuan Province, Feb 2020. Photo by VnExpress/ Viet Quoc
Australia and Vietnam have signed the first bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under the Australian Agriculture Visa Program that will allow Vietnamese to do farm work down under.

Under the agriculture visa program, employees will be recruited to work across a range of agriculture sectors, including horticulture, dairy, wool, grains, fisheries and forestry, including support services and primary processing.

Vietnam's Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs said Australia will accept around 1,000 Vietnamese workers annually, starting this year.

Each worker could receive a basic salary of AUD3,200-4,000 (nearly US$2,400 - 3,000) per month, excluding living expenses, income said to be higher than in other labor importing markets.

Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said Vietnam's early participation in the Australian Agriculture Visa Program demonstrated the commitment of Prime Minister Scott Morrison's government to deepening cooperation under the Australia -Vietnam Strategic Partnership.

It is also a key initiative under the Australia-Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy launched by prime ministers of both countries last November.

Vietnamese labor minister Dao Ngoc Dung said Australia has a developed agriculture industry, a clear legal system, strict requirement of skills and foreign languages.

This would allow Vietnamese workers in Australia to earn high incomes, guaranteed working conditions, and the opportunity to learn more about scientific and technological advances in the agriculture sector.

The Australian government announced its Agriculture Visa Program in September 2021 as one aiming to address the labor shortage facing its agricultural sector. Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines are the four in the priority list for participating the program.

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