This year, Harvest Trail offers Melbourne employment service providers a unique opportunity to address unmet demand for harvest workers during Goulburn Murray’s peak stone fruit harvest season in January to April 2022. Jobfind, a leading employment services provider in Melbourne has taken the initiative to mobilise suitable Melburnian job seekers to undertake an earn-learn-and-adventure experience in regional Victoria.
Jobfind CEO Karena Newland says: “Melburnian job seekers may not have previously had agriculture work on their radar. But we’re prepared to provide them with extra support to take up this exciting opportunity and support our farmers. It’s a great way to see regional parts of the country, meet new people, learn new skills and earn a wage.”
The ongoing Australian border closure has locked out international working holiday travellers who usually flock to the opportunity to tour regionally while earning money. This means that farmers are facing a workforce shortage just as an expected bumper crop is due for harvest this summer.
To address employers’ recruitment needs, Jobfind is in talks with regional Harvest Trail service providers and is prepared to invest in transport for city job seekers to regional areas, on-the-job pastoral care, and help for job seekers to access the financial support available to them from the Australian Government.
What is Harvest Trail?
Harvest Trail is an Australian Government initiative that supports Australian job seekers and eligible international job seekers to take up seasonal harvest work in most Australian States and Territories.
Harvest Trail Service (HTS) providers are licenced by the government to connect employers and workers to fill seasonal harvest jobs. A HTS provider also administers AgMove government financial assistance to help with costs for eligible workers who relocate to take up short-term agricultural work such as harvest work.
What is harvest work?
In Australia, harvest work helps to bring in Australia’s fruit and vegetable crops. Farmers and growers offer a variety of work, including fruit or vegetable picking, packing, pruning and planting.
Harvest work is seasonal, meaning the crop is harvested at certain times in the year, and the work can range from a few weeks to six months or more. For example, peak labour demand to harvest cherries is November to December; in January to April, it’s time to harvest the stone fruit.
Can city job seekers do regional harvest work?
Many job seekers from city areas are eager for the chance to enter a new industry, travel to regional areas and learn new skills, says Karena Newland. “It can seem difficult to relocate regionally, and that’s why Jobfind is working in partnership with other services to remove the barriers to taking up this opportunity.
“Our hope is that other employment services providers will join with us and our partners on the ground in regional Victoria to create a solution that will benefit both farmers and job seekers.”
Want to jump on board the Harvest Trail with Jobfind? Contact our Harvest Trail Coordinator, Soumyajit Mitra on [email protected]