The Joint Committee on Migration has decided to produce this interim report for the inquiry into the Working Holiday Maker Program because of the urgent need to address the substantial labour shortages Australia’s agricultural and horticultural industry is facing for the upcoming harvest season.

While the Working Holiday Maker program remains a key cultural exchange program, the agricultural and horticultural industry has also come to rely on working holiday makers to play a substantial role in harvesting. The shortage of working holiday makers has arisen primarily because of border closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This interim report contains recommendations for dealing with the present labour shortages, including the novel idea of developing a “Gap Year at Home” campaign to appeal to young Australians who might have chosen to travel overseas to instead see some of their own country and undertake work in the agriculture and horticulture sectors.

Related Information

Final report of the Inquiry into the Working Holiday Maker Program

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