Pakistan and Australia Forge Closer Ties in Labour Mobility and Cooperation Initiatives

In a significant step towards enhancing labour mobility between Pakistan and Australia, Jawad Sohrab Malik, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, engaged in productive discussions with Mr. Neil Hawkins, the Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan. The meeting was aimed at fostering cooperation and exploring new avenues to enhance labour mobility between Pakistan and Australia.

During the meeting, Malik apprised Mr. Hawkins about the ample pool of skilled Pakistani professionals and workers ready to bolster the Australian labour market, highlighting the potential for addressing labour shortages through cooperation in various sectors. The central discussion revolved around the vital need for secure labour mobility channels to reduce irregular migration from Pakistan to Australia. Both parties stressed the importance of providing safe avenues for those seeking job opportunities abroad.

The SAPM further requested information on in-demand trades, accreditation, and language proficiency requirements for Australian working and skilled visas, aiming to simplify the process for Pakistani job seekers in Australia. Additionally, the discussion explored the possibility of setting up centers of excellence within the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sectors of both nations. Malik stated that these centers would prepare Pakistani workers to meet Australian labour market standards. Furthermore, the SAPM highlighted the prospect of establishing a Migration and Mobility Partnership between Pakistan and Australia, fostering comprehensive cooperation in labour mobility.

Malik also expressed a keen interest in being included in the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) Scheme, which aims to address labour shortages in rural and regional Australia, particularly in the agricultural sector. “Inclusion in the PALM Scheme would create opportunities for Pakistani workers to contribute to Australia’s labour needs, further strengthening the bonds between the two nations”, said Malik. Lastly, both parties discussed the potential for linking job portals between the two countries, making it more convenient for employers and job seekers to connect. The meeting was also attended my Managing Director Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC).