HILA – a new tool to source skilled workers

One of the biggest issues for horticulture growers is finding skilled and semi-skilled workers. Jobs such as truck, fork lift and tractor drivers, farm managers and mechanics can be hard to fill. The new Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement (HILA) allows growers to sponsor overseas workers with these, and a range of other skills.

What is the HILA

The HILA was introduced by the Department of Home Affairs on 1 January 2020. It allows growers access to skilled and semi-skilled migrant workers where appropriately qualified Australians are unavailable.

Under the HILA growers can sponsor overseas workers for a set period of time, or for permanent residency, depending on the type of visa issued

Sponsorship Options

Temporary Sponsorship

Growers can sponsor overseas workers for the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482) visa for a total of 31 approved occupations

Permanent Residency

Workers can come to Australia under the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) (subclass 494) visa program with a permanent pathway to a Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) available after three years; or

Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) visa program after a three or four year transitional period on a TSS visa—three years for approved Skill Level 1-3 occupations, and four years for approved Skill Level 4-5 occupations.

Occupations Eligible for the HILA

The HILA is available for workers up to 50 years of age. Further details can be found at Department of Home Affairs