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Meat Industry Labour Agreement: Sponsorship for Skilled Overseas Meat Workers

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The Meat Industry Labour Agreement presents an exceptional opportunity for Australian employers in the meat industry to sponsor skilled overseas workers in the occupation of ‘skilled meat worker.

This agreement not only permits employers to hire workers for a temporary period of up to four years but also enables them to sponsor these individuals for permanent residence. 

In this comprehensive article, we will explore the intricacies of the Meat Industry Labour Agreement, encompassing its requirements, visa options, occupation tasks, English language proficiency, skills and qualifications, salary considerations, and age restrictions.

Visa Options

As an employer seeking to tap into international talent, you can choose to sponsor skilled overseas individuals through the Meat Industry Labour Agreement by availing the following visas:

  1. Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482)
  2. Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) – accessible after a three-year transition period
  3. Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494)

Occupation and Tasks

Within this agreement, employers are limited to nominating the occupation of ‘skilled meat worker.’ Although there exists no specific Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) code dedicated to this occupation, it is advised to utilise the code 070499 when making the nomination. Skilled meat workers are entrusted with a diverse range of tasks, including:

  • Stunning and slaughtering livestock, as well as preparing carcasses for further processing by removing internal organs and hides.
  • Operating switching controls to skillfully guide and transfer carcasses and meat cuts from supply rails to boning tables.
  • Separating meat, fat, and tissue from bones by skillfully cutting the meat.
  • Ensuring meat is free from foreign material and blood through meticulous washing, scraping, and trimming.
  • Expertly dividing sides and quarters of meat into standard cuts, such as rumps, flanks, and shoulders, and preparing them for packing and marketing. This involves removing internal fat, blood clots, bruises, and other impurities.
  • Competently operating restrainer and stunning equipment.
  • Swiftly severing jugular veins of stunned animals to facilitate blood drainage and dressing.
  • Removing head meat and severing animal heads with precision.
  • Skillfully slitting open, eviscerating, and trimming animal carcasses.
  • Adhering to specific procedures required by religious customs when slaughtering livestock.

English Language Proficiency

Skilled overseas workers are required to meet specific English language requirements based on the visa subclass and designated regional location:

  1. Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) – For Category 1, 2, and 3 regional locations, a minimum IELTS overall test score of 5.0, with no minimum score for each test component or its equivalent, is mandatory.
  2. Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) – For Category 1, 2, and 3 regional locations, a minimum IELTS overall test score of 5.0, with no minimum score for each test component or its equivalent, is obligatory. Alternatively, if the worker holds a current subclass 457 visa, they may satisfy the English language requirement by providing evidence as prescribed in the Migration Regulations for meeting functional English.
  3. Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494) – For Category 2 and 3 regional locations, a minimum IELTS overall test score of 5.0, with no minimum score for each test component or its equivalent, is a prerequisite.

Skills, Qualifications, and Experience

To fulfil the occupation requirements, overseas workers nominated under this agreement must:

  1. Undergo a thorough assessment and verification process to confirm their status as skilled meat workers, possessing a minimum skill level equivalent to the Meat Industry National Training Advisory Council (MINTRAC) referenced Australian Qualification Framework Certificate III in meat processing.
  2. Undergo a comprehensive skills assessment conducted by a MINTRAC registered assessor or an authorized assessing authority designated by the Department of Home Affairs.

Salary Considerations

The Meat Industry Labour Agreement establishes minimum salary thresholds for skilled overseas workers. Employers must ensure that the salary offered to these workers meets or exceeds the market salary rate for the nominated occupation. It is imperative to stay updated on the current salary requirements to comply with the agreement.

Age Restrictions

The Meat Industry Labour Agreement imposes no age restrictions on skilled overseas workers. Regardless of age, eligible individuals can be sponsored by Australian employers as long as they meet the necessary requirements and qualifications.

Conclusion

The Meat Industry Labour Agreement serves as a significant avenue for Australian employers in the meat industry to acquire and sponsor skilled overseas meat workers. 

By understanding the agreement’s intricacies, visa options, occupation tasks, English language proficiency requirements, skills and qualifications, salary considerations, and age restrictions, employers can harness the potential of international talent and ensure a thriving workforce. Embracing diversity and expertise in the meat industry will undoubtedly foster growth and success in the global market.

Contact our experienced team of registered migration agents today for an eligibility assessment and to discuss the meat industry labour agreement in more detail.

FAQs

Can I hire skilled overseas workers under the Meat Industry Labour Agreement?

Yes, the Meat Industry Labour Agreement allows Australian employers in the meat industry to sponsor skilled overseas workers under the occupation of 'skilled meat worker.'

What visa options are available under the Meat Industry Labour Agreement? 

Employers can sponsor skilled overseas individuals on the following visas:

  • Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482)
  • Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) – available after a three-year transition period
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494)

What tasks can skilled meat workers perform under this agreement? 

Skilled meat workers can undertake various tasks, including stunning and killing livestock, preparing carcasses for further processing, operating meat-cutting equipment, trimming and removing impurities from meat, and following religious customs when slaughtering livestock.

Are there any English language proficiency requirements for skilled overseas workers?

Yes, specific English language requirements must be met based on the visa subclass and designated regional location. For example, an IELTS overall test score of at least 5.0, with no minimum score for each test component or its equivalent, is required for certain regional locations.

What skills and qualifications should overseas workers have to meet the occupation requirements?

Overseas workers nominated under the Meat Industry Labour Agreement must be assessed and verified as skilled meat workers with a minimum skill level equivalent to the Meat Industry National Training Advisory Council (MINTRAC) referenced Australian Qualification Framework Certificate III in meat processing. They must also undergo a comprehensive skills assessment by a MINTRAC registered assessor or an authorised assessing authority.

Are there minimum salary requirements for skilled overseas workers?

Yes, the Meat Industry Labour Agreement establishes minimum salary thresholds for skilled overseas workers. Employers must ensure that the salary offered meets or exceeds the market salary rate for the nominated occupation.

Picture of Taina Silva

Taina Silva

Director | Registered Migration Agent
MARN: 1802671 | MMIA: 19470

Taina is a Director and Registered Migration Agent of Migration Unity, specialising in skilled work visas, partner visas and complex cases. She has an outstanding track record of approvals and provides a range of timely, ethical and transparent solutions to Australian businesses in various industries, including hospitality, construction, health, IT and regional operations. She has a growing client base which consists of migrants from all over the world and small to medium enterprises through to large national groups

Picture of Taina Silva

Taina Silva

Director | Registered Migration Agent
MARN: 1802671 | MMIA: 19470

Taina is a Director and Registered Migration Agent of Migration Unity, specialising in skilled work visas, partner visas and complex cases. She has an outstanding track record of approvals and provides a range of timely, ethical and transparent solutions to Australian businesses in various industries, including hospitality, construction, health, IT and regional operations. She has a growing client base which consists of migrants from all over the world and small to medium enterprises through to large national groups