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How many more workers will be able to be recruited through the PALM scheme?

Worker recruitment will continue to be driven by demand from PALM scheme employers, subject to state and territory COVID-19 quarantine requirements.

There has been strong growth in recruitment numbers in recent years for both the SWP and PLS, and this trend is expected to continue. Pacific workers can only be recruited where no suitable Australian workers are available to fill jobs.

In response to increasing demand, the Australian Government is working with Pacific governments, states and territories to rapidly scale up Pacific labour mobility by bringing an additional 12,500 workers to Australia by March 2022 to support critical sectors such as agriculture, accommodation, hospitality and aged care. 

Under the new PALM scheme arrangements, recruitment caps have also been doubled for existing PALM scheme employers with a good record that also have the financial capacity to support additional worker arrivals.