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PICKING AND HARVEST WORK – EXPLORE AND EARN!

Are any of your students …

Looking for something to do in their gap year?

Wanting to make a little cash over the holidays

Fit?

Hardworking?

Looking for adventure?

Then read on!

In the past, picking and harvest work (or seasonal work) was a way to make money and a rite of passage for many young Aussies just out of school. More recently it’s been the domain of professional harvest workers (many from overseas), backpackers and a few grey nomads along the way.

Then came COVID (collective groan.…)

Border restrictions have closed off the tap for many seasonal workers wanting to come over to Australia, and border closures between states have made life even more difficult for Australian farmers.

With summer crops coming in to harvest it’s reached a crisis point.

There’s a labour shortage in many of our regional areas, and right now there is fruit waiting to be picked and thousands of seasonal jobs calling out for willing workers.

It’s no walk in the park!

The work is short-term, strenuous, heavy and hot. It’s also highly skilled. They will have to learn quickly because it takes care and practice to avoid damaging the produce, and it takes time to start working at a good, steady pace. And they have to be prepared – depending on the crop they will have to deal with dust and spiders, sunburn and scrapes.

If they’re still interested …

That’s great, because they’ll be helping out our farmers and the Australian economy, and preventing a lot of beautiful fresh food from going to waste and being ploughed back into the ground.

They will also earn a bit of money, explore Australia’s beautiful regions, develop relationships, expand their mind, stretch themselves in ways they had not imagined, experience a different lifestyle and create memories to last a lifetime. (And that’s a mouthful!)

So if they’re willing to

Get up early each morning – really early!

Learn new and different skills

Work hard – really hard!

Make new friends

Prepare for new adventures

Add something extra to their CV

It could be for them. Who knows? It might even be the start of a career in agriculture!

Some states are thinking of setting up online training courses, and some farmers are working on how to utilise the skills of young Australians in other areas around the farm. They may have skills that are useful! (Think IT for watering or tracking services!)

Get them to look into it!

Explore the HARVEST TRAIL website to see if harvest work is right. They will find information on government incentives, job opportunities and harvest work in your region.

There’s also information on transport, accommodation options, facilities and services.

HARVEST TRAIL

jobsearch.gov.au/harvest

Farms must abide by Australian Labour Laws and pay appropriate wages. To check out award rates visit the Fair Work website

fairwork.gov.au/how-we-will-help/helping-the-community/seasonal-worker-programme