Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) is a program initiated by the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to address labor shortages in certain regions of Australia. DAMA agreements are designed to help businesses in these regions access skilled workers from overseas and support Australia`s economic growth.

DAMA agreements are tailored to specific regions and industries, and they allow employers to sponsor workers in occupations that may not be available through other skilled migration programs. The agreement is made between the Australian Government, represented by the DHA and the designated area representative (DAR) for the region, which can be a state, territory, or local government.

There are currently eight DAMA agreements in place across Australia, covering various regions such as Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland. Each agreement sets out the occupations in demand and the number of skilled workers that can be sponsored under the program.

The DAMA program is an excellent option for businesses in regional areas that are unable to source skilled workers locally. The program provides a streamlined pathway for employers to sponsor overseas workers, which can help fill critical skills shortages and support economic growth in the region.

One of the key advantages of DAMA is that it provides a more flexible pathway for sponsoring skilled workers. The program allows employers to access occupations that are not listed on the standard skilled occupation lists, provided they can demonstrate there is a genuine need for these skills in the region.

Under the DAMA program, employers are required to meet certain criteria to sponsor workers. This includes conducting labor market testing to ensure there are no suitable Australian workers available to fill the position, providing a competitive salary, and ensuring that sponsored workers have adequate working conditions and entitlements.

Overall, the DAMA program is a valuable tool for employers in regional areas to access skilled workers from overseas and address labor shortages in their businesses. By providing a more flexible pathway for sponsoring skilled workers, this program supports economic growth in these regions and helps Australia to remain competitive in a global marketplace.