Working the seasons

Work Initiative: Riverina MP Michael McCormack with Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker in Young.
Work Initiative: Riverina MP Michael McCormack with Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker in Young.

Unemployed people will have the opportunity to undertake seasonal horticultural work under a Federal Government trial that will run for the next two years.

The Seasonal Work Incentives Trial offers financial incentives to support unemployed people to take up work opportunities for up to six weeks. The $27.5 million trial began on July 1, 2017, will operate for two years and is capped at 7,600 participants.

Young Cherry Growers Association spokesman Scott Coupland said local growers would support the scheme provided those chosen to participate were “fair dinkum” about working. 

"It would be good to give work to locals, and I know a few who would work hard and appreciate the opportunity," he said.

"The only way I could see the scheme not working would be if those nominated were not motivated to work hard and accept the responsibility."

Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack said the scheme would help unemployed people gain experience and improve their skills.

“The trial will support those looking for work and businesses keen to give workers a start,” he said.

“This is a win-win for local workers and growers in the horticultural industry as they often are in need of short-term labour during peak times and horticultural work offers excellent practical opportunities for people keen to build their skills and gain work experience.

“After recently holding a roundtable with the Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker and local employers and producers in Young, I am aware of the issues faced by local horticulturalists and am excited by the opportunities this trial presents for both the local horticultural industry and people seeking work.”

Minister for Employment, Michaelia Cash said the Government believed the best form of welfare is a job.

The trial’s incentives are available to eligible Newstart and Youth Allowance recipients who have been receiving those payments continuously for at least three months.