Australia’s local labour shortage

With well over 500 occupations on the current Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) list, the severe lack of local skilled labour in Australia is evident and the business community is feeling the impact.

Small to Medium (SME) businesses and large corporates, across a diverse range of industries, are in urgent need of suitably qualified staff for the busines critical roles – Nurses, Doctors, Chefs, Surveyors, Civil Engineers, Structural Engineers, Medical Laboratory Scientists, Midwives, Physiotherapists and so on.

Inevitably, regional areas in Australia like Orana NSW and Far North Queensland (FNQ) are even more challenged to find suitable staff and are currently experiencing critical skill and labour shortages. In recognition of this fact, the Federal Government has established a Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) to provide employers in Orana and FNQ regions a means of sponsoring skilled overseas workers in specified industries.

So this is good news in theory but how does this actually help regional employers?

I have a restaurant in Dubbo and I am struggling to find any local Chefs – can I hire someone on a visa?

The short answer is yes – your region and role are covered under the Orana DAMA.

The Orana DAMA applies to employers in the following local government areas:

  • Bogan Shire;
  • Bourke Shire;
  • Brewarrina Shire;
  • Cobar Shire;
  • Coonamble Shire;
  • Dubbo Region;
  • Gilgandra Shire;
  • Mid-Western Region;
  • Narromine Shire;
  • Warren Shire;
  • Walgett Shire;
  • Warrumbungle Shire

Under the Orana DAMA, employers who are struggling to find local staff can sponsor visa applicants to fill the following occupations:

Aged or Disabled worker Dentist Butcher Smallgoods Maker
Anaesthetist Driller Fitter Enrolled Nurse
Chef Hospitality, Retail and Service Managers Meat Boner and Slicer Medical Laboratory Scientist
Electrician Truck Driver Welder Stonemason
Registered Medical Officer Surveying or Spacial Science Technician Residential Care Officer Registered Nurse

What about FNQ? Many of my staff who were backpacking in Cairns have returned home in the past year and I can’t find any local who wants to manage my hostel.

The FNQ DAMA covers businesses operating in the following areas:

  • Cairns;
  • Port Douglas;
  • Atherton;
  • Mareeba;
  • Cassowary Coast

The FNQ DAMA differs in many ways from standard skilled migration pathways, providing more flexibility and certainty for both employers and workers and covers visa sponsorship of the following occupations:

Accommodation and Hospitality Managers Accountant Aged or Disability Carer Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic Air Transport Professionals
Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Bar Attendant Café or Restaurant Manager Cardiologist Deck Hand
Carpenter Dermatologist Electrician Earthmoving Plant Operator Emergency Medicine Specialist
Farm Supervisor External Auditor Endocrinologist Oncologist General Practitioner
Midwife Neurologist Night Auditor Ophthalmologist


Sewing Machinist


Telecommunications Cable Jointer Surgeon Sonographer Urologist Web Designer

Honestly, as a regional employer I want to take advantage of this opportunity, but I don’t have the time nor knowledge to make sure I’m putting through the right visa application.

This is where Direct Migration Experts (DME) can help.

We make it easy for employers to navigate the employer nomination process and we help job applicants complete the visa application process in a timely, compliant and efficient manner.

Since 2008, we have been helping Australian businesses access international talent to combat local staff shortages and we have grown a reputation for achieving 100% visa outcomes by solely working with applicants that we can help in their migration journey.

Leverage the experience of our Immigration Lawyers and Registered Migration Agents with over 20 years’ experience – DME experts understand the unique requirements & skills shortage categories relating to regional workers and are ready to assist you.

I have been trying to find local staff for quite some time now and have had no luck. I am happy to sponsor the right candidate but I just don’t know where to find them. I’ve contacted a few recruiters and their fees are more than I expected – can DME help me?

Absolutely – and best of all we won’t charge you a fee for introducing you to job candidates, even if you make them an employment offer!

Over the years, our talent pool has grown consistently – we currently have access to hundreds of skilled workers from UK, USA, Fiji, Sri Lanka, South Africa and the Philippines, who can be on our shores within 3 months.

We would be delighted to introduce you to potential candidates that align with your current vacant roles. The only fees you will incur with us are the migration service fees associated with employer sponsorship and visa application/s (if you are covering the cost for your employee/s).

We provide the full suite of migration services, including:

  • Labour Agreements like DAMA
  • Temporary Skilled Work Visas (TSS)
  • Permanent Residency applications
  • Permanent Employer Sponsorship
  • Regional Migration
  • Standard Business Sponsorship
  • Partner & Student Visas
  • Visa Appeals

Our migration service fees include access to a technology portal, so you have full visibility on the progress of your staff visas and audit trails.

If you are sponsoring multiple staff, we are happy to provide volume-based packaging and discount options.

There is no time like the present!

Contact Direct Migration Experts today – our experts are ready to assist you with all your migration enquiries on 1300 015 592 or complete the form in the button link below.