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Western Australia targets UK officers after change in labour laws

Under the agreement serving officers from the UK and Ireland will be enabled entry into WA over the next five years under the Employer Nominated Scheme

A new labour agreement signed between Federal and State Government in Western Australia has allowed the Western Australia Police force to launch an international recruitment campaign targeting serving UK officers.  

The campaign is targeting officers who are under 55 and have at least three years’ experience. WA Police is also targeting serving officers in New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland.

The agreement, which is the first of its kind in Australia, enables WA to recommence recruiting police officers from overseas ahead of every other State and Territory. Other Australian states are now trying to follow the WA lead.  

Under the new Labour Agreement, skilled police officers from the UK and Ireland will be enabled entry into WA over the next five years under the Employer Nominated Scheme (subclass 186) visa, which enables their transition into the WA Police Force and places them on a pathway to citizenship.

The previous Labour Agreement, which allowed WA to recruit officers from the UK, expired in 2019. WA Police have not actively recruited overseas since 2017.

The State Government has committed to an additional 950 police officers and the new Labour Agreement is expected to provide a proportion of that figure.

Police Minister Paul Papalia said: "This landmark agreement with the Federal Government will ensure specialist and skilled police officers from a number of countries across the world will be able to migrate to Western Australia to join the WA Police Force.

"Every State in Australia is currently trying to get Labour Agreements signed to allow for overseas recruitment in a range of sectors, including police.

"The McGowan Government securing the first of such an agreement gives our State a strong head start to attract the best possible police candidates from the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand.

WA Police Commissioner Col Blanch said: "Policing styles in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand are quite compatible with ours, and transition programs have previously worked in our favour.

"My message to officers working in those countries is simple. We want skilled, experienced constables to work on the frontline to help us cover the biggest policing jurisdiction in the world."

Western Australia Police constables after three years earn around Aus$80.000 (£43k) pa and senior constables earn nearly Aus$90k (£50k). There is also free or subsidised housing with some rural postings.

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