A novel idea has been proposed to help solve the labor shortage in the horticulture industry.
Currently there are only about 70,000 seasonal workers in South Australia; a number that has plummeted from 180,000 before COVID-19 and travel restrictions kicked in.
A Federal Parliamentary Committee has tabled an interim report on its inquiry into the Working Holiday Maker program and has made several recommendations in utilising Australians and temporary visa holders in Australia to fill the shortfall this season.
“Time after time, the submissions and witnesses to this inquiry told the Committee about the effect that a lack of working holiday makers entering Australia would have on the upcoming harvest season," Committee Chair Julian Leeser MP said.
The committee has recommended a ‘gap year at home’ campaign which would give university students a discount on HECS/HELP fees to pick fruit.
Another suggestion is to continue JobSeeker government welfare payments for those who take on low paid farming work.
The interim report can be found at this link.
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