Initial excitement in the farming sector about the introduction of an Ag Visa has been replaced with frustration for many farmers who are about to kick off their harvests.
With the new Ag Visa now unlikely to be introduced before next year, it is understandable some agribusinesses are concerned about how they will address pressing labour shortages before then.
The Ag Visa was proposed by the National Party to reduce restrictions on foreign workers coming into Australia and addressing chronic workforce gaps in the agriculture sector, particularly regarding seasonal unskilled labour.
The agriculture industry and the agriculture recruitment sector have long been lobbying for a dedicated Ag Visa to address the industry’s shortfall in workers.
The proposed Ag Visa was aimed at reducing costs and administration, which would simplify the process for Pacific Island and working holiday visa holders.
However, the new plan outlined by the Australian Government means once the new Visa has been introduced; farmers and agribusinesses will first have to register their work requirements with the National Harvest Labour Information Service.
If they are deemed eligible they will then be linked with welfare recipients who could be placed into the positions.
This new plan is problematic for farmers who need their agriculture recruitment requirements met in quick time for fast-approaching harvests. It is also an issue for farmers who cannot provide long-term work or a set number of hours each week.
The proposed plan also raises significant issues for larger agribusinesses, given the expense and time required to undertake large agriculture recruitment campaigns.
With time ticking on the upcoming seasons and workers needed now, Agri Labour Australia knows the demands that farmers face in trying to fill their staff vacancies and that they cannot wait for regulatory uncertainty to be clarified.
As Australia’s leading agriculture recruitment specialists, we understand the stress of harvest season and the needs of our farmers in the short and long term.
We are specialists at effectively and efficiently connecting large numbers of pickers and horticultural workers with businesses all over Australia through our harvest trail which allows our agriculture recruitment staff to engage workers for back-to-back roles.
When workers have work scheduled for the entire harvest calendar, they are motivated to stay the course and less likely to abandon a project if there are delays or if conditions change.
Agri Labour Australia is managed by a team of consultants who are committed to the ongoing success of our clients’ business and our candidates’ careers. We are dedicated to supplying employers with staff who are keen and work-ready.
Need staff for your upcoming harvest? Call 1300 247 823.