FROM the early days in the COVID-19 pandemic, it was recognised that there were likely to be some issues attracting agricultural and horticultural labour as a result of closing international borders.
While it was initially hoped that these roles could be filled by some of those who had lost their jobs due to COVID closures, that did not eventuate.
The SA government has done a number of support measures to try and attract workers, particularly to those seasonal horticultural jobs.
Mid-way through last year, the government established a Seasonal Jobs SA website to allow employers to advertise their positions.
The government also introduced incentive payments of up to $2000 for workers to relocate to regional areas, however this was not available for those working in agriculture as the federal government payments were already in place.
Earlier this year, the SA government announced it would establish a regional centre in the Riverland to allow 1200 workers from the Pacific Islands to undertake two-weeks of quarantine before starting work in the citrus harvest, sharing the costs with industry.
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Most of these measures have been focused on the horticulture sector but other industries, including dairy, have also highlighted labour shortages as a concern.
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