Introduction

Our client Italian Aged Care Incorporated (IACI), based in Perth, sought a strategy to help them recruit PCAs with Italian language skills to care for their Italian speaking residents. As PCAs cannot be sponsored under the standard temporary work visa scheme, Roam Migration Law proposed a Labour Agreement which would allow IACI to sponsor PCAs from overseas where they were unable to recruit Australian residents with the requisite experience and language skills. IACI and Roam Migration Law prepared a comprehensive application regarding the need for the Italian-speaking PCAs, and the Labour Agreement was approved without further request from the Department of Home Affairs.

About Italian Aged Care Incorporated (IACI)

IACI was established in 1972 and provides residential aged care services, retirement living, home care and day therapy services to adults 65 years and over, financially disadvantaged individuals, migrants and asylum seekers. The organisation currently cares for around 230 residents, with 85% of them being Italian. Many of the residents prefer to communicate in Italian as they migrated to Australia at a later stage in life and have only lived within the Italian community in Perth since migrating. It is therefore advantageous to have PCAs who can communicate in Italian to enable them to provide a higher standard of care.

The challenges

Before engaging Roam Migration Law, IACI had primarily filled positions for Italian-speaking PCAs with a combination of Australian residents, Working Holiday and Student Visa holders. However, Working Holiday Visa holders could only work for 6 months for a single employer and Student Visa holders are limited to 20 hours work per week. This presented challenges to management in recruitment, training and retention of staff. IACI recognised that to provide a consistent and high-level of service to residents, it was preferable to retain staff for the long-term, so that the staff could become familiar with IACI's operations and the residents to whom they were providing care.

How we helped

IACI had made representations to the Assistant Minister for Immigration and the Italian Ambassador to Australia, however this did not lead to a solution. Roam Migration Law was contacted as one of IACI's staff members had been assisted with their permanent residency by us. We recommended the Labour Agreement as the Minister for Immigration had recently announced a path for aged care providers to access the Subclass 482 – Temporary Skills Shortage (482 TSS) Visa for PCAs. We discussed the Labour Agreement and the benefits it would bring to the organisation and commenced preparation of the application. Although IACI is in Perth and Roam Migration Law in Melbourne, we were able to prepare the application through phone and email. Roam Migration Law was also able to visit IACI during the preparation to understand first-hand the issue faced.

The results

We were pleased to be able to assist IACI to maintain a consistent highly-skilled workforce to provide the best level of care to their residents. IACI can now expand its services and grow the organisation to match the demand for its services from the Italian community in Perth. Roam Migration Law look forward to growing with IACI as they seek skilled PCAs to supplement their Australian workforce.

Conclusion

If your organisation is looking for a way to recruit PCAs from overseas with particular community language skills, please contact us for a confidential no-obligation discussion. We look forward to supporting you to recruit PCAs for long-term positions in your organisation to reduce costs and quality of care issues associated with high turnover of staff.