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Asylum seekers help to fill hort labour shortage in regional Victoria

This year has been particularly challenging for producers to find workers.

COVID-19 restrictions have caused a collapse in the number of working holiday visa holders — the backpacking workforce crucial to the agricultural industry.

Working holiday visas have fallen from about 140,000 at the end of 2019 to about 50,000 now.

The National Farmers Federation (NFF) estimates there will be a shortage of 26,000 agricultural workers when demand peaks around March.

This inspired university  Aviva White, who volunteers at the Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project (BASP) in Melbourne. 

"We noticed a lot of coverage within the media about huge labour shortages in the agriculture industry, that there was lots of fruit to be picked and lots of jobs on farms available," she said.

That led to a collaboration with Regional Australians for Refugees (RAR), who heard about jobs going at Koala Cherries in Yarck.

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Source : https://www.abc.net.au/

Author: Norman Hermant