The Shire of Manjimup has been involved with the initial coordination of a central point of localised contact between growers and prospective workers via the Southern Forests Employment Hub to counter the anticipated agricultural workforce issues expected during the coming harvest season.
Managed by the Manjimup Community Resource Centre, the Southern Forests Employment Hub has been successfully operating for a number of years and with some further development work is expected to create a simplified linkage between local growers and those workers looking to assist with making up the expected agricultural employment shortfall across the district. Subject to obtaining additional resources, the Manjimup Community Resource Centre may also be able to provide worker connection to accommodation providers and other essential services in the area.
Shire President Paul Omodei said "I notified the looming agricultural workforce issue to the State Government as far back as March this year due to COVID-19 resulting from the small number of people from overseas remaining in WA on temporary working visa's. With the harvest approaching rapidly and the recent promotion of the issue arising from the community organised rally, several organisations in Manjimup including the Shire have been inundated with offers from people in WA to come and work for growers in the district."
Cr Omodei added further "Once offers to work came flooding in to the Shire it became apparent that there was an issue linking our growers to the prospective workers. Our team is now working with the State Government, Manjimup Community Resource Centre and Southern Forests Food Council to establish a local central connection point."
With the harvest season ramping up in late November 2020 right through until June 2021, Cr Omodei stated "We now have a preliminary register of prospective workers willing to come to the district and assist with harvest so the timing of this initiative is perfect as we can now make the connection with our growers. As the harvest demand for workers increases over the next few months, the intention is to escalate the promotion of local job opportunities across WA via the Southern Forests Employment Hub."
Growers and prospective workers are encouraged to register their interest at the Manjimup Community Resource Centre who can be contacted on 9777 2774 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://southernforestsemploymenthub.com.au
Authorised by Andrew Campbell, Chief Executive Officer
Contact Sheri Laba, Public Relations Officer
Contact for comment: Paul Omodei, Shire President
Contact: 0448 810 773