Bumper season needs skilled workers

Albany Chamber of Commerce President Kerry Fry.  (Lee Griffith Photography)

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Western Australian farmers are still in need of skilled workers for this year’s season which is predicted to break annual grain harvest records.

Due to the COVID pandemic the agricultural sector who often employs backpackers and student workers during the busy seasons are forced to find workers elsewhere.

Albany Chamber of Commerce President Kerry Fry said she supports WA Farmers and their requests to fast-track the entry for agricultural labourers.

“The rules for backpackers who want to extend their Working Holiday visa to second and third years have changed and they can now complete their 88 days work not just on farms but in the tourism and hospitality sectors in northern and remote Australia as well,” she said.

“This will create further challenges for the many Great Southern employers in the agricultural sector currently.

“To ensure Great Southern farmers can maximise return on the annual grain harvest instead of being put at risk of critical market failure, the Albany Chamber is in support of solutions that can safely escalate quarantine entry alternatives for 1000, low-risk, skilled agricultural machinery operators.”

The Western Australian government is offering funding for farming, fisheries and food processing businesses in regional areas who are experiencing labour shortages.

Via the Work and Wander Out Yonder campaign the WA Government is also encouraging Australians to fill labour gaps across the state.

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