IT was Mareeba’s turn to get informed about the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) through a Growcom workshop 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.
The international delegates represented four of the 10 participating countries in the Federal Government-funded SWP.
Leanne Kruss from the Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network in Far North Queensland said there was positive interest in the SWP.
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“We don’t just see seasonal workers as low-skilled workers – they’re an important part of workforce solutions here,” she said.
“The contribution these countries can make to supporting agriculture in Far North Queensland is significant, and we welcome them.”
On tours of Piñata Farms and Skybury Coffee at Paddy’s Green, the delegation heard growers’ positive experiences of the SWP.
“We’re on our third intake of Vanuatu men for this farm, and this year we’ve doubled our intake which is encouraging,” said Piñata Farms director Stephen Scurr.
“All we’re looking for is people who genuinely want to work, and if they show that, it’s a great start. A big incentive for us is if they come over here and work well, they can come back every year because we want that consistency.”
For more information about participating countries and contact points, visit jobs.gov.au/participating-countries-and-contact-points
- Copy supplied by Growcom.