An innovative pilot program will see seasonal workers in the Riverland employed by a Group Training Organisation to provide them with year-round work, learning valuable skills and addressing the workforce needs of the agriculture industry.
Funded under the Skilling South Australia initiative, local GTO Murraylands Employment and Training South Australia will employ 18 jobseekers, with 12 to commence traineeships in the Certificate II in Horticulture with Riverland Horticulture Council providing the training.
All participants will complete the Ready, Set, Go Employability Skills JobTrainer course to build their job readiness skills and capabilities with Registered Training Organisation MADEC Australia.
Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said the project would offer year-round employment in what are traditionally seasonal roles while building a workforce impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions.
“This is a creative solution to providing regional South Australians with fulltime employment while also addressing labour shortages for employers in the agriculture sector,” Tim Whetstone said.
“The trainees will complete four-month rotations with different employers where they will learn various skills that are essential to completing their traineeship.
“This will give them a well-rounded experience and ensure they have the skills and capabilities to be assets to any agriculture business.
“It also provides employers with access to workers for their seasonal harvest while teaching them the skills to succeed in the industry, providing local career pathways.
“This is another example of a Skilling South Australia project that equips jobseekers with important skills to improve their confidence and get them into the workforce.”
Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland (RDAMR) deputy chief executive Vanessa Leigh said the participants would learn a range of skills, including the application of chemicals, how to operate basic machinery, planting, how to harvest and post-harvest horticultural crops, soil sampling and testing, and environmentally sustainable work practices.
“Individuals will also learn skills across various commodities in the Riverland through work placement at a range of businesses, starting with citrus, almonds, stone fruit and moving into vintage, providing a holistic learning environment for the Agricultural sector,” Ms Leigh said.
“Businesses will have access to a local pool of labour they can tap into during peak times and release them when work ceases, which will then become available to other businesses.
“Traditional seasonal work will be transformed into full-time employment for individuals, increasing the appeal of working in this sector.”
Information sessions for anyone interested in participating in the project will be held in February, 2022.
For more information, contact the RDAMR on 08 8535 7170, or visit rdamr.com.au
For more information on Skilling South Australia, visit https://innovationandskills.sa.gov.au/skills/skilling-south-australia