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Western Australia's Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA)

In Western Australia (WA), businesses facing shortages in skilled labor have a unique pathway to bolster their workforce through Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs). These agreements, managed by the Department of Training and Workforce Development's Migration Services, enable businesses in specific regional areas to recruit skilled migrants under tailored conditions and concessions.



What is DAMA and DAR?


DAMAs are labor agreements tailored to address unique economic and labor market needs in designated regional areas, crafted collaboratively by businesses, the Australian Federal Government, and Designated Area Representatives (DARs), including regional bodies like Chambers of Commerce or Shire Councils.


Designated Area Representatives authorized by Home Affairs oversee and manage the DAMA program, endorsing businesses, monitoring local labor trends, guiding application processes, and endorsing businesses to Home Affairs for Labor Agreements.


WA DAMA


Businesses looking to expand their workforce through the WA DAMA must first obtain endorsement from Migration Services, the authorized DAR. This agreement allows eligible businesses facing recruitment challenges to hire skilled migrants via three visa pathways: Temporary Skills Shortage (subclass 482), Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (subclass 494), and Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186).


REGIONAL DAMAS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA


Starting July 1, 2024, the WA DAMA and four regional agreements (Goldfields, Kimberley, Pilbara, South West) aim to meet local workforce demands and spur economic growth. WA DAMA offers 5,000 migration places for the current financial year, evenly split between metro and regional employers, prioritizing critical sectors like construction, health, and aged care. Regional DAMAs target local needs, boosting business opportunities statewide.


ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS


To participate in a DAMA, businesses must meet stringent criteria:

1.     Evidence of operation:

  • Provide registration details (names, ABN/ACN, company/trust documents if applicable). Evidence of WA establishment (addresses, property proof).

  • Details of nominated business representative (name, contact, ID).

  • Financial documents (audited statements, accountant's letter, financial metrics).

  • Capability statements, promotional materials, and business plans.

  • Compliance history (no adverse findings in past 5 years or disclosed investigations).


2.     Evidence of workforce needs:

  • Provide registration and establishment evidence for SMER access.

  • Demonstrate genuine skilled migrant needs with current workforce details, economic plans, and past endorsements.

  • Metro businesses must meet Home Affairs' 50% local employment requirement.

  • Each position needs ANZSCO code, visa details, job description, terms, business case, workforce plans, and impact assessments for unfilled roles.

  • Ensure equal employment conditions and conduct LMT within 12 months of application.

 

3. Concessions: Through the WA DAMA, eligible businesses can access concessions under Commonwealth Migration Legislation to sponsor skilled migrants and grant visa applications. It defines two regions: Perth Metropolitan (Skill Levels 1-3, some Skill Level 4 and non-ANZSCO roles) and Regional (Skill Levels 1-3, Skill Level 4, and industry-specific roles), offering a streamlined pathway to permanent residency with reduced work experience requirements compared to Perth Metropolitan.


Occupation Distribution:

  • Perth Metropolitan - 50% of places are allocated

  • Regional- 50% of places allocated

 

Work Experience Concessions:

  • TSS visa: 1 year relevant full-time or part-time equivalent.

  • SESR or ENS visa (Regional WA): 2 years relevant full-time or part-time equivalent.

  • SESR or ENS visa (Perth): 3 years relevant full-time.

 

Age Concession:

  • The age limit increased to 55 years.

 

English Language Proficiency:

  • IELTS 5.0 minimum requirement.

  • Skill Level 1-2 occupations: Standard requirements.

  • Skill Level 3-4 (TSS/SESR): IELTS 5.0 overall.

  • Skill Level 3-4 (ENS): IELTS 5.0 overall, no band score below 4.0.  

Endorsement for ENS (subclass 186 visa):

  • The nominated occupation must be listed under WA DAMA.

  •   The Employee must have lived and worked in Perth for 3 years or Regional WA for 2 years.

  • Occupation must align with the employee's WA experience under a TSS visa.

  • Full-time employment offer for at least 2 years, extendable to permanent.

 

The ENS pathway is exclusively available to skilled migrants initially nominated under WA DAMA, with no labor market testing requirement.



4. Endorsement Validity Period:  

WA DAMA endorsements remain valid for 12 months from issuance, requiring businesses to adhere to submission deadlines for timely processing and compliance with visa requirements. Initiating applications promptly is crucial to maintain eligibility.

 

BENEFITS AND IMPLICATIONS


The WA DAMA, combined with the State Nominated Migration Program, significantly enhances the state's capacity to address critical workforce shortages by allowing up to 10,000 overseas workers annually to settle in WA. This proactive approach not only supports local businesses but also fosters economic growth and development in regional areas.

 

OBLIGATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES


Once endorsed by a DAR, businesses must comply with sponsorship obligations, including providing terms and conditions of employment equivalent to Australian standards, conducting labor market testing (where applicable), and attending to settlement requirements for nominated skilled migrants.


OCCUPATION LISTS


The WA DAMA and existing State Nominated Migration Program enable the settlement of up to 10,000 overseas workers in WA, addressing critical workforce shortages. These job lists prioritize roles essential to WA's requirements, qualifying them for skilled migrant placements.

 

Aeronautical Engineer

Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic

Architectural Draftsperson

Building and Engineering Technicians nec

Carpenter and Joiner

Civil Engineer

Construction Project Manager

Decarbonisation Advisor

Directional Driller

Electrical Engineering Draftsperson

Electronics Engineer

Exercise Physiologist

Flying Instructor

Glazier

Hotel Service Manager

Interpreter

Medical Laboratory Scientist

Metallurgist

Neurosurgeon

Ophthalmologist

Panelbeater

Plasterer

Production Manager (Mining)

Registered Nurse nec

Secondary School Teacher

Small Engine Mechanic

Steel Fixer

Teachers' Aide

Thoracic Medicine Specialist

Vineyard Worker

Aeroplane Pilot

Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Avionics)

Architectural, Building and Surveying Technicians nec

Building Associate (Building Construction Supervisor)

Chef

Civil Engineering Draftsperson

Cook

Dental Hygienist

Disabilities Services Officer

Electrical Engineering Technician

Emergency Medicine Specialist

Family Support Worker

Fruit Grower

Grader Operator

Hydrogen Process Operators

Joiner

Medical Laboratory Technician

Middle School Teacher

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Optometrist

Parole or Probation Officer

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Production or Plant Engineer

Rehabilitation Counsellor

Senior Beef Cattle Station Worker

Social Worker

Stonemason

Technical Cable Jointer

Translator

Vocational Education Teacher

Aged or Disabled Carer

Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Mechanical)

Audiologist

Building Inspector

Chemical Engineer

Civil Engineering Technician

Cyber Governance Risk and Compliance Specialist

Dental Specialist

Drainer

Electrical Linesworker

Emergency Service Worker

Fencer

Fuel Cell Technician

Grain, Oilseed or Pasture Grower

Hydrogeologist

Light Technician

Medical Oncologist

Midwife

Nurse Educator

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Pastrycook

Plumber (General)

Project Builder

Renal Medicine Specialist

Senior Broadacre Crop and Livestock Farm Worker

Solid Plasterer

Structural Engineer

Telecommunications Cable Jointer

Truck Driver (General)

Wall and Floor Tiler

Agricultural and Agritech Technician

Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Structures)

Automotive Electrician

Cabinetmaker

Chemical Plant Operator

Clinical Coder

Cyber Security Advice and Assessment Specialist

Dental Technician

Driller

Electrician (General)

Endocrinologist

Fire Fighter

Gas or Petroleum Operator

Grain, Oilseed, Pulse and Pasture Farm Worker

ICT Business Analyst

Loader Operator

Medical Practitioners nec

Mine Deputy

Nurse Manager

Orthoptist

Pathologist

Podiatrist

Psychiatrist

Resident Medical Officer

Senior Broadacre Crop Farm Worker

Sonographer

Surgeon (General)

Telecommunications Engineer

Urban and Regional Planner

Waste Water or Water Plant Operator

Agricultural and Horticultural Mobile Plant Operator

Ambulance Officer

Backhoe Operator

Cabler (Data and Telecommunications)

Chemist

Clinical Haematologist

Cyber Security Analyst

Dental Therapist

Drug and Alcohol Counsellor

Electrician (Special Class)

Engineering Manager

Fire Protection Equipment Technician

Gasfitter

Health and Welfare Services Managers (nec)

ICT Project Manager

Maintenance Planner

Medical Radiation Therapist

Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum)

Nurse Practitioner

Orthotist or Prosthetist

Pathology Collector

Preschool Aide

Psychologists nec

Residential Care Officer

Shearer

Special Education Teachers nec

Surveying or Spatial Science Technician

Telecommunications Field Engineer

Urologist

Welder (First Class)

Agricultural Consultant

Anaesthetic Technician

Beef Cattle Farm Worker

Cafe or Restaurant Manager

Child Care Centre Manager

Clinical Psychologist

Cyber Security Architect

Dentist

Early Childhood (Pre-primary School) Teacher

Electrolyser Technician

Engineering Technologist

Fire Protection Plumber

Gastroenterologist

Health Practice Manager

ICT Support Engineer

Marine Surveyor

Medical Technicians, nec

Mixed Cattle and Sheep Farmer

Nursing Clinical Director

Otorhinolaryngologist

Paving Plant Operator

Pressure Welder

Quantity Surveyor

Rheumatologist

Sheep Farmer

Special Needs Teacher

Surveyor

Telecommunications Linesworker

Vascular Surgeon

Welfare Worker

Agricultural Engineer

Anaesthetist

Beef Cattle Farmer

Cardiac Technician

Child Care Group Leader

Community Worker

Cyber Security Engineer

Dermatologist

Earth Science Technician

Electronic Engineering Draftsperson

Enrolled Nurse

Fitter (General)

General Practitioner

Helicopter Pilot

ICT Systems Test Engineer

Materials Engineer

Metal Fabricator

Mobile Plant Operator nec

Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

Out of School Hours Care Worker

Penetration Tester

Primary School Teacher

Radiation Oncologist

Roof Plumber

Sheetmetal Trades Worker

Specialist Physician (General Medicine)

Systems Administrator

Telecommunications Network Engineer

Vegetable Grower

Wind Blade Technician

Agricultural Research Scientist

Aquaculture Or Fisheries Scientist

Biomedical Engineer

Cardiologist

Child Care Worker

Computer Network and Systems Engineer

Cyber Security Operations Coordinator

Diagnostic and Interventional Radiologist

Earthmoving Plant Operator (General)

Electronic Engineering Technician

Environmental Engineer

Fitter and Turner

Geologist

Horticultural Supervisor or Specialist

Industrial Engineer

Mechanical Engineer

Metal Fitters and Machinists nec

Motor Mechanic (General)

Occupational Health and Safety Adviser

Paediatric Surgeon

Personal Care Assistant

Prison Officer

Refuge Worker

Roof Tiler

Ship's Engineer

Specialist Physicians nec

Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Telecommunications Network Planner

Vehicle Painter

Wine Grape Grower

Agronomist

Arborist

Bricklayer

Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Child Or Youth Residential Care Assistant

Concrete Batching Plant Operator

Dairy Cattle Farm Worker

Diesel Motor Mechanic

Educational Psychologist

Electronic Instrument Trades Worker (General)

Environmental Manager

Fitter-Welder

Geophysicist

Hospital Pharmacist

Intensive Care Ambulance Paramedic

Mechanical Engineering Technician

Metal Machinist (First Class)

Naval Architect

Occupational Therapist

Paediatrician

Petroleum Engineer

Process Technician

Registered Nurse (Aged Care)

Scaffolder

Ship's Master

Speech Pathologist

Teacher of the Hearing Impaired

Telecommunications Technical Officer or Technologist

Veterinarian

Wool Classer

Airconditioning and Mechanical Services Plumber

Architect

Broadacre Crop and Livestock Farmer

Carpenter

Civil Construction Supervisor

Construction Estimator

Dairy Cattle Farmer

Dietitian

Electrical Engineer

Electronic Instrument Trades Worker (Special Class)

Excavator OperatorineworkerL

Floor Finisher

Geotechnical Engineer

Hotel or Motel Manager

Intensive Care Specialist

Medical Diagnostic Radiographer

Metallurgical or Materials Technician

Neurologist

Operating Theatre Technician

Painting Trades Worker

Physiotherapist

Procurement Manager

Registered Nurse (Child and Family Health)

School Principal

Ship's Officer

Stationary Plant Operators nec

Teacher of the Sight Impaired

Telecommunications Technician

Veterinary Nurse

Youth Worker


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