Big workforce provider set to provide harvest jobs

Big workforce provider set to tackle harvest labour shortage

Agribusiness
LIVING THE DREAM: Phil and Julie Stokes worked last year at Charlton in Victoria during harvest and will do so again this year.

LIVING THE DREAM: Phil and Julie Stokes worked last year at Charlton in Victoria during harvest and will do so again this year.

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One of Australia's largest operations staff providers is set to try and attract staff to fill the thousands of temporary harvest jobs going.

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ONE of Australia's largest operations staff providers is joining the fight to help the Australian grains industry find sufficient skilled harvest labour to get this year's forecast bumper crop in the bin.

Programmed is a leading provider of operations and maintenance services across Australia and New Zealand.

RELATED: Harvest staff headaches on the cards

Its business model is built around recruiting and deploying a large, directly employed workforce.

In the case of this year's harvest, Programmed executive general manager for Programmed skilled workforce, David Hele said the company would be looking for 3000 workers.

Grey nomads, university students and rural residents will be key targets to help meet the shortfall caused by the COVID-19 inspired shortfall of international labour normally critical to harvest logistics.

"Adventurous Aussies who may normally look to travel overseas for unique experiences should consider an Aussie outback adventure in its place this spring, while our international borders remain closed," Mr Hele said.

He said Programmed would be looking to fill roles ranging from grain sampling to grain handling, weighbridge operating, customer service, and assisting as plant operators.


Programmed has split the nation's cropping belt into zones, with a breakdown of the number of roles in each area, such as 240 jobs in the Burren Junction region and 240 around Wyalong both in NSW.

Mr Hele said there were also government schemes to help people move to the harvest regions if they needed.

Australian citizens can claim up to $6,000 from the Australian government for accommodation, travel, food, clothing and protective equipment while foreigners can claim up to $2,000.

He said those looking for temporary work could combine harvest work with their holiday.

"Almost 40,000 Grey Nomads are on the road at any one time," he said.

"We're saying why not spend the October-December period having a wonderful adventure, and getting paid for it at the same time?" Mr Hele said.

Queensland-based Julie and Phil Stokes worked last year at Charlton in Victoria.

"I had a role in senior management in a Melbourne hospital and my husband Phillip was a tradesman, and after emigrating from the UK 9 years ago - we decided we wanted a change and to travel, so we sold our house, bought a caravan and made the change three years ago," Ms Stokes said.

"Harvest season really provides us with the perfect balance to both travel Australia and work as we go," she said.

The story Big workforce provider set to provide harvest jobs first appeared on Farm Online.

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