Aussie gap year labour solution open

Contiki off the cards? Come work in horticulture

Horticulture
OPPORTUNITY: A new campaign aims to get school leavers to fill the labour shortage in horticulture. Photo: Shutterstock

OPPORTUNITY: A new campaign aims to get school leavers to fill the labour shortage in horticulture. Photo: Shutterstock

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School leavers are being encouraged to take a job picking crops after year 12.

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FORGET trekking around Europe after leaving high school - grade 12 students are being encouraged to think about picking crops for a gap year.

Growcom has teamed up with Australia's largest digital platform for high school leavers, Year13, for a new campaign to entice young Australians to consider horticultural work as a gap year option.

The idea comes as COVID-19-induced international travel restrictions continue to cause disruptions to the labour supply.

Growcom chief executive officer Stephen Barnard said through the Gap Year campaign, the organisation is investing in young Australians, providing them with a better preview of the industry.

"We are also continuing investment in safe and ethical employers, to ensure workers have the best possible experience in the industry," Mr Barnard said.

"This is an opportunity to establish horticulture as not only a gap year option, but a rewarding career path."

Employers wanting to take on school leavers will need to demonstrate their commitment to fair employment practices through Fair Farms Certification or demonstrated commitment to good work practices.

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As part of the collaboration, participating school leavers will be provided with pre-induction training through FarmReady Hub and assistance to find employment.

Year13 is dedicated to empowering young people to follow their passions, also working with government, employers, and educators to bridge the gap in youth employment.

The organisation has quickly established credibility with the 15 to 25-year-old demographic by producing engaging content that discusses the employment, education, and travel-related opportunities available to young Australians.

Year13 co-Founder and co-CEO Saxon Phipps said he and the Year13 team were excited about the opportunity this campaign provides as it mirrors the ethos of Year13.

"Ten years ago, when we wrote the first business plan for Year13, we envisioned helping young Australians make more informed and considered decisions about their futures while closing the gap between unemployed youth and industries with skill and job shortages," Mr Phipps said.

"There needs to be more focus on providing opportunities across regional and rural Australia and our partnership with Growcom does exactly that.

"We want to promote horticulture as a fulfilling career while giving young Australians more options of meaningful career pathways."

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