Farm Guide VIC : 2012-13
69 Horticulture Looking For Casual Harvest Workers? The time is fast approaching when many seasonal crops will need to be picked, packed, processed or pruned. These jobs tend to be the most labour intensive on farms, requiring large numbers of people for relatively short periods of time. What is the easiest way to fnd casual harvest workers? The Federal Government funds a number of harvest services to help growers fnd seasonal workers at harvest time. In Victoria, dedicated Harvest Labour Service (HLS) providers are located in Mildura, Robinvale, Swan Hill, Shepparton, Cobram and Lilydale. These providers have staff on the ground that can assist you to fll vacancies quickly and easily. Additionally, the HLS will conduct visa checks on overseas workers prior to referring them to your property. When you use a HLS to source workers you can rest assured they are legally entitled to work in Australia. There is no need to worry if you live outside the areas serviced by a Harvest Labour Service provider. The National Harvest Labour Information Service (NHLIS) operates Australia wide to support HLS providers and fll the gaps in other harvest regions. Strathmerton grower Julie Hall, who has used the NHLIS for many years, explains “They have their hand on the pulse and know what sort of people are needed to handle the work. I have recommended the NHLIS to all farmers in our area including family and friends". The NHLIS is supported by: • National Grower Guide A comprehensive, but compact guide that provides growers with all of the information they need to employ workers through the NHLIS. Information includes; how to lodge vacancies, what jobs can be advertised, notes on employing backpackers, workers compensation obligations, OH & S and superannuation. • National Harvest Telephone Information Service (1800 062 332) This service operates weekdays from 8.00am to 8.00pm throughout the year to answer queries related to harvest labour and to connect callers to appropriate providers. Call Centre Operators are in contact with growers, labour providers and workers.