Joint Media Release: Tonga joins Australia's Pacific Labour Scheme

The government is pleased to announce that today Tonga joined Australia’s new Pacific Labour Scheme.

Tonga’s entry into the Scheme will provide more Tongan workers access to skills development opportunities, while also helping fill labour shortages in rural and regional Australia.

Tonga has participated over a number of years under the Seasonal Worker Programme, providing almost half of the 31,000 workers since 2012.

The Australian government is pleased Tonga will have the opportunity to build on this through joining the Pacific Labour Scheme.

Tonga will now join Kiribati, Nauru, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu in the Pacific Labour Scheme. Workers can undertake non-seasonal work in rural and regional Australia for up to three years.

The agreement was signed today by the Prime Minister of Tonga, the Hon. Samuela 'Akilisi Pohiva and Australian High Commissioner to Tonga Mr Adrian Morrison.

The Pacific Labour Scheme commenced on 1 July 2018. The Scheme is now uncapped and will be expanded to include more Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste in future.

Visit to learn more about Australia’s labour mobility initiatives, including the Pacific Labour Scheme.

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