Harvest trail targets key hort areas

Harvest trail targets key hort areas

Horticulture
The South East and Adelaide-Barossa are among 16 horticulture regions targetted. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

The South East and Adelaide-Barossa are among 16 horticulture regions targetted. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

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The federal government is offering $5 million in funding in hopes it will help encourage Australians to take up seasonal work opportunities in horticulture.

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The federal government is offering $5 million in funding in hopes it will help encourage Australians to take up seasonal work opportunities in horticulture.

The Harvest Trail Service, which has been expanded into 16 regions, including Adelaide-Barossa and SA South-East, aims to ensure major horticulture areas have access to the workers they need.

Five organisations are being funded as part of the $1m Harvest Trail Services Industry Collaboration Trial to find new ways to encourage people to take up opportunities in the horticulture sector, while meeting employer demand.

These are Fruit Growers Vic Limited, NT Farmers Association Incorporated, Qld Fruit and Vegetable Growers Limited (GrowCom), Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers Cooperative Limited and AUSVEG Limited.

Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Minister Michaelia Cash said the trial would test-run different ways to promote harvest work to Australian job seekers.

"We know growers are struggling to find the labour they need, which is why Harvest Trail Services is as important as ever," she said.

"As part of Harvest Trail Services, we have provided additional funds to a number of growers groups for them to develop innovative approaches to promote new opportunities in the horticulture sector."

AusVeg will produce and promote a series of videos to showcase occupations in the agriculture sector and highlight career pathways and growing employment opportunities.

This will help to articulate the opportunities within the sector, highlight the day-to-day experience in the occupation as well as present a training pathway how to get there.

The videos will be and promoted online and via social media as well as to AUSVEG's network through the Horticulture Council and to relevant commercial and government stakeholders, including employment service providers and educational institutions, focusing on secondary education and careers councillors.

Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin said other funding opportunities range from pre-employment projects, mentoring, training, development of videos, engagement with school leavers, and social media campaigns.

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"The government is committed to ensuring job seekers in regional Australia can find work and to help growers meet their workforce needs," he said.

"On top of this, we are also providing relocation assistance to people who relocate to harvest and regional areas to take up agricultural work."

Since November 1, relocation assistance has been available to people who relocate to harvest and regional areas to take up short-term agricultural work, including Australians who are not receiving income support and those with the right to work in Australia.

Those relocating to take up short-term agricultural work may be eligible to receive up to $6000 if they are an Australian worker; or $2000 for a visa holder with general work rights, not restricted to an employer or a type of work, to work in Australia.

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