Pacific Islanders arrive to fill aged care job vacancies across the NT

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Just 44 workers from the Pacific Islands will fill a severe staff shortage in the aged care and hospitality sectors.

75% of the people from nine countries in the Pacific Islands and Timor Leste, who arrived in Alice Springs this week, will work in the aged and disability care sector across Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Katherine. The remaining 11 workers will be employed in tourism and hospitality at DoubleTree by Hilton in Alice Springs.

The 44 initially went into the Howard Springs quarantine facility in Darwin and all of those working in the aged care sector will be fully vaccinated.

NT Minister for Small Business Paul Kirby said the industry covered the costs of flights for the new workers, and the NT Government assisted with paying for quarantine, which cost $2,500 per worker.

The Federal Government’s Pacific Labour Scheme, which is advertised as a solution to staff shortages in Australia where there are not enough local workers available as well as a means of supporting the economic growth of neighbouring countries, is behind the arrival.

Under the scheme, the new arrivals can work in Australia for a period of between one to three years.