With new legislation forcing job seekers on the Dole to apply for 40 positions per month we could see a huge increase in the number of Northern Territorian’s that are completing fruit picking or harvest work.
Many people are not happy with these new requirements, especially in smaller regional areas where the job possibilities are limitied.
Harder to Find Jobs?
The flow on affects could be enormous with many Working Holiday makers each year trying to complete their 88 days of specified work to obtain their second working holiday visa. This could further tighten the noose around an already competitive harvest and season fruit picking job market .There have been discussions to allow workers from Asia to enter on a 457 skilled visa to seasonally pick fruit.
What the Recruiters say
The ABC interview a local Darwin Recruitment agent who said,
“A lot of Australians refused to do low-paid casual work picking mangoes and melons or whatever crop it may be. Most of the positions were only for a few weeks and suited a workforce of itinerant backpackers following the seasons.”
“A lot of these farms are in the middle of nowhere,” she said.
There were be few jobs in fruit picking in the Territory until the October mango harvest.
“I have a melon farm in Humpty Doo, but that’s only three jobs,” she said.
“I have a cattle station south of Katherine, but that’s $20 an hour and sleeping in a shed in a six-bed dorm.”
Lets see how these changes affect the current fruit picking and harvest work landscape.