Message from vegetablesWA President, Dan Kuzmicich.
It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to Kit Sainsbury, the new Labour Scheme Facilitator tasked with assisting horticulture growers find suitable labour through the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) and Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS).
If you are unfamiliar with these programmes, I’ll provide a little background and an update on the current situation.
The Labour Scheme Pilot was established in 2019 and scheduled to run for a 12-month period.
The goal of the pilot was to assist 6-12 employers with accessing the SWP and PLS and to determine why there was resistance to utilise them.
The Covid-19 situation changed the labour landscape in Western Australia significantly, and as backpacker numbers dropped, industry was forced to adapt.
The SWP and PLS programmes have allowed many horticulture growers to do this.
The State Government agreed to fully fund the Labour Scheme Facilitator role, with vegetablesWA overseeing the delivery of services.
Based on the feedback we have received to date, 100 per cent of Approved Employer’s agree that having Seasonal Workers has led to an improvement in their business.
Improvements are varied, from better productivity between SWP workers and Working Holidays Makers (WHMs) and between SWPs in their first and second year.
Several employers have expanded in size due to the stability of their SWP workforce, creating more down-stream jobs for Australians and other businesses.
Last week Kit Sainsbury took over the Labour Scheme Facilitator position, previously held by Melissa Denning.
Kit brings to the role a wealth of knowledge and experience from previous positions held within the not-for-profit sector worldwide
No matter what sector of the horticulture industry, Kit will be able to guide you through the labour options available to you during this time of rapid change.
vegetablesWA has proposed a flight schedule for the rest of 2021 but due to the unpredictability of Covid-19 it is likely that the State Government will only propose flights for the next three months.
We are hoping to get firm approval from the WA State Government for a flight on June 17 within the next week.
vegetablesWA has three flights proposed:
· June 17, workers from Vanuatu
· July 2, workers from Vanuatu
· July 20, workers from Vanuatu
If you would like to get in contact with Kit to discuss your labour needs, his contact details are below.
Stay safe and healthy!
Contact Kit Sainsbury
M: 0477 477 044