Trailfinders have announced a new scheme that will allow workers travel to Adelaide, Australia for just €10. The scheme forms part of larger efforts to encourage workers to visit the region and contribute to an economy that has suffered without a steady flow of labour during the pandemic.
The scheme is open to Australia working holiday visa holders or those with an application in process on May 10th. On that day 200 lucky travellers will be selected to travel with Qatar Airways to Adelaide, South Australia's capital and the country's fifth-largest city.
The €10 flight cost is not the only cost associated with the scheme. Travellers must book a Trailfinders Adelaide arrival pack, which provides a brief stay in a “sociable hostel in the centre of Adelaide,” job search assistance, information packs, 12-month membership to “the backpacker list” for job search and three months access to a work and travel support line. The 3-night arrival pack costs €197 and the 6-night costs €286 per person. The cost of the visa is €330 for a 12-month stay.
'One of the areas that's probably feeling quite acute pain has been the agricultural sector which would have had a constant supply of backpackers coming through'
Fidelma McCorry Breen, who runs Adelaide Irish Connect, completed a PhD in Irish migration to Australia at University of Adelaide. "[Adelaide] was always the poor cousin when it came to migration to Australia because they all want to go to Sydney and Melbourne – the bigger cities." She insists there is much that should attract Irish emigrants in Adelaide.
Highlighting the emerging space and defence industries in the region, she says backpackers “are not uneducated” and “if they find the right spot, they’ll find themselves an unbelievable career”.
Barry Corr, chief executive of the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce (IACC), says there has been a “massive shortage” of labour across Australia.
“There are pronounced shortages across [much of] the economy… One of the areas that’s probably feeling quite acute pain has been the agricultural sector which would have had a constant supply of backpackers coming through to work in fruit picking and things like that.”
He says the pandemic has significantly reduced the amount of backpackers travelling in the region and those in Australia in early 2020 have mainly returned home. Backpackers tend to travel around Australia, coming primarily from Europe.
Corr says a shortage of international students from places like China and India has also resulted in pronounced shortages in sectors that relied on the group for employment.
Extending a working visa while in Australia is 'pretty straightforward' and as Adelaide is 'consistently highly rated in the best cities in the world to live in'
As hospitality reopened, the shortages in labour caused some businesses to reduce their opening hours due to lack of staff. Despite a huge increase in demand for the hospitality industry, businesses are unable to meet this, he says.
The IACC is bringing a delegation of Australian companies over to Ireland in June to hire talent new talent and the organisation is seeing many jobs available in trades, accountants, lawyers, engineers, project managers, agriculture and others.
Corr says the process of extending a working visa while in Australia is “pretty straightforward” and as Adelaide is “consistently highly rated in the best cities in the world to live in,” he encourages Irish people to come and experience life down under.
Originally intended for solely the UK, Trailfinders says South Australia Tourism decided to extend it to Ireland. Outbound travel from Ireland or the UK must take place by September 30th 2022, and travel dates are subject to availability. The scheme is only applicable to residents of UK and Ireland and departures will take place from Dublin or London.
Trailfinders have advised that applications can only be accepted online and bookings cannot take place over the phone.
The scheme evokes sentiments of the hugely popular “ten-pound poms” programme launched after the second World War, which saw British migrants pay just £10 (€550 adjusted for inflation today) for the fare to move down under. This scheme ended in 1982.
You can apply for the scheme at trailfinders.com