If the past few years has taught us anything, it’s that skilled labour shortages can cripple a business swiftly and suddenly.
Due to socio-economic and geographic constraints, rural communities are typically hit the hardest from these shortages. This enormous strain on struggling employers has significantly worsened since 2020, resulting in higher rates of unemployment in rural areas. Not to mention the devastating supply chain shortages felt across the country.
The Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) has been established as a commitment to help support regional Australians throughout this economic recovery phase.
DAMA In Detail
The Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) is an agreement made between the Australian Government and a specific state, territory or region, and ensures that the unique economic and skilled labour demands of that specific area are met.
A DAMA assists a region by providing businesses with flexible mechanisms to deal with workplace shortages. This includes offering training to Australians in relevant fields, enabling employers to supplement their workforce with overseas workers, all while supporting local economies.
The agreement has been adopted in multiple regions across our country with great success, including Orana, NSW; Far Northern QLD; South West WA; and as of 2022, the Goulburn Valley Region in Victoria.
DAMA In The Goulburn Valley
The Goulburn Valley (GV) region is located in northern Victoria and has become the latest region to take advantage of DAMA. Contributing a further $144m toward the economic output of the area, the GV DAMA also sets out to drive population growth and additional job opportunities for Australians in the area.
The GV, which includes the Local Government areas of Greater Shepparton City Council, Moira Shire and Campaspe Shire, has been experiencing labour shortages well before 2020, across various industries – most notably in the agricultural and health services sectors.
GV DAMA aims to upskill Australians across all sectors in the region, provide permanent residency for skilled migrant workers, offer support services for employers and visa holders involved in the agreement, and grant concessions to particular occupants that fit the criteria.
DAMA also safeguards a range of risk and integrity actions to ensure the rights of workers and employers are protected.
The Greater Shepparton City Council is fulfilling the role of the Designated Area Representative (DAR) for the initiative in the Goulburn Valley. This means they are responsible for the management and oversight, monitoring labour market patterns in the region, and providing support services for employers and visa holders involved in the agreement.
How Can You Get Involved?
As we emerge into a new economic climate, it’s particularly important to have all the skilled local and overseas workers we need to ensure businesses remain productive and stable.
If your business is actively operating in the Goulburn Valley Region, and is looking to employ overseas workers with duties that align with one of the Approved Occupations on the GV DAMA list, then you may be eligible to join the agreement.
To apply, or for further information, please contact Greater Shepparton City Council or browse our website.