Lockyer Valley vegetable and herb grower, Janne Dipple from Bare Essentials, has been working with the Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network (QAWN) to identify and implement a variety of government programs aimed at assisting with employment and workforce planning.
Through programs such as the Back to Work initiative, Job Actives program, Seasonal Worker Programme, and involvement with the Queensland Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, Bare Essentials has been able to employ a sustainable and long-term workforce.
“With the assistance of QAWN we’ve been able to apply a combination of incentives on our farm that suit the diverse range of on-farm roles,” Ms Dipple said.
“We’re doing something a little bit different to the norm here but at the end of the day there are people who want farm work and there is farm work that needs to be filled; it’s just a matter of finding a way to make the most of the programs and incentives already out there.”
QAWN Project Manager, Karen George said this is a great example of how you can mix-and-match to suite your farming business.
“QAWN exists to help producers meet labour needs. This includes identifying workforce development opportunities and working with producers to increase their understanding of options for employing and skilling workers,” Ms George said.
“By working with state and federal departments, Job Actives, Back to Work initiative, TAFE Qld, Multicultural Development Association (MDA), Farm Ready Pty Ltd and the Mulberry Project, QAWN has been able to develop and improve employment pathways for new Australians and the unemployed looking for farm work.
“Our work has emphasised the importance of linking new Australians to training and work environments, flexible government programs and support systems to aid sustained employment and community inclusiveness to ensure sustainable employment.”
QAWN will continue to work with horticulture producers to increase their understanding of options and processes for employing and skilling new workers. If you would like more information about QAWN or the programs and incentives available contact QAWN Project Manager, Karen George on 0408 135 003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to be connected to an Agriculture Workforce Officer in your region.
The Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network is an industry-led rural jobs initiative funded by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).