GROWERS in the Bowen area have been informed of the potential advantages in utilising the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) through an information session earlier this month.
International delegates from Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Fiji and Papua New Guinea plugged the value of their workers to strong crowds of growers at recent SWP information sessions in Mareeba, Bowen and Stanthorpe.
Growers also heard from representatives of the Labour Mobility Assistance Program, the Department of Jobs and Small Business, Bowen Gumlu Growers, Mareeba District Fruit & Vegetable Growers, the Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.
On a tour of Vee Jay’s Kalfresh in Bowen, the delegation got to further spruik the SWP to vegetable growers Jamie and Melita Jurgens, who expressed interest in the program.
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“If we can get workers who’ll come back the next year and know what they’re doing, that is of huge benefit to us because there are a lot of costs for us in training,” Mr Jurgens said.
“I’ve heard more good stories than bad stories about the Seasonal Worker Programme, and it’s definitely something we’re interested in.”
Kerry McCarthy from GraceKate Farms on the Darling Downs told growers at the Stanthorpe information session that the SWP had been a game-changer for her business.
“The Seasonal Worker Programme gave us the boost we needed to expand our operation, and we could not do what we do without our teams from Solomon Islands,” she said.
“It gives us confidence to know the SWP has such strong government support both in Australia and abroad, and we encourage any interested growers to get involved.”
For more information about participating countries and contact points, visit jobs.gov.au/participating-countries-and-contact-points
- Copy supplied by Growcom.