Q&A with Curtin Heritage Living – first aged care provider to source staff under new labour agreement

Curtin Heritage Living's RiverSea Mosman Park home - Western Australia

Inside Ageing (IA) was able to put some questions to the team and Curtin Heritage Living (CH) about their new labour agreement and how they went about it.

Updated: 22nd May 2023: Inside Ageing and MMMigration will be hosting a webinar on May 31 to provide further information and answer questions about Labour Agreements and securing staff from overseas – Book your place!

Curtin Heritage Living in Perth is now the first aged care provider in Australia to secure the new labour agreement, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United Worker’s Union for up to 570 workers across 5 years.

To address critical skills shortages across the sector, Curtin Heritage Living will gain access to priority visa processing as well as a two-year pathway to permanent residency as incentives for prospective workers.

The Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement allows aged care providers to sponsor overseas workers for the Temporary Skill Shortage and Employer Nomination Scheme visas. Providers must have made genuine recruitment efforts and entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with relevant unions.

The Skilled Migration program allows providers to sponsor overseas workers for the Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa in direct care occupations such as:

·  Nursing Support Worker

·  Personal Care Assistant

·  Aged or Disabled Carer

IA: It would seem this has been a fairly speedy process given the announcement was only made a few weeks ago.  How did you go about it and how many people are you sponsoring and from where?

CH:  Curtin Heritage Living actually commenced the process for a Labour Agreement in 2022, using an Immigration specialist.  Part of this process is a letter to industry bodies and unions, seeking their support for the application.  In response to our letter, United Workers Union called a meeting with us and advised that due to the status of our application, and if we met all requirements we could be considered to be the first aged care provider to sign a labour agreement with the Commonwealth.

We are able to nominate 30 people in the first year of the agreement (5-year agreement).  At present, we are prioritising staff who are currently working with us – with most originally from Bhutan.

IA: Is this the first time you have used a Labour Agreement or sourced workers from overseas?  If not, how did the process differ?

CH: Yes – this is our first Labour Agreement

IA: What sort of documentation or evidence did you need to provide to the Union and how was this process?

CH:  We were required to provide existing workforce data,  recruitment ad templates, proof of recruitment advertising over specified timeframes, and data relating to the response to advertising as part of the application process.

With regard to the Union, we were required to write to the Union seeking their support and confirming the above.

IA: In your opinion how will this new Labour Agreement impact aged care’s ability to source staff?

CH:  The agreement will assist in attracting skilled workers to the industry, due to the pathway to permanent residency (for those who are eligible).

Those who are eligible will benefit from access to secure employment opportunities in Australia, helping them to build a stable future for themselves and their families.

At the same time, providers will benefit from a loyal, diverse and skilled workforce, which will help to ensure clients receive the highest quality care possible. 

IA: Thank you.

Inside Ageing recently hosted a webinar explaining how to approach obtaining a labour agreement. To purchase a video recording of the session Click Here.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here