Job seekers in the Scenic Rim are set to benefit from a new project in the agricultural sector under the Morrison Government’s $276 million Local Jobs Program to support our economic recovery from COVID-19.
DGT Employment and Training is collaborating with Kalfresh Pty Ltd, a large Queensland horticultural business, to train and employ up to 30 participants in the region, about 80km from Brisbane.
Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, the Hon Stuart Robert, said the project is one of many funded across Australia, to provide vital support for regions experiencing high unemployment during the pandemic.
‘These region-specific programs are the result of collaboration between Employment Facilitators, Local Jobs and Skills Taskforces, and industry organisations,’ Minister Robert said.
‘The Kalfresh Employment Solution project will enable participants to access a week of foundational skills training, and two weeks of employer-specific training with a local business.’
Federal Member for Wright, the Hon Scott Buchholz, said the Morrison Government remained committed to getting as many Australians as possible upskilled and reskilled by creating programs that are accessible to local regional communities.
‘Kalfresh and other local businesses in the Scenic Rim play a vital role in processing and value-adding to the great horticultural product that is grown in our region.
‘Horticulture is such a critical party of our local economy and underpins hundreds of local jobs, businesses such as Kalfresh and the entire sector have been vocal in highlighting the critical issue of labour shortages in the sector as a result of fewer backpackers during COVID-19.
‘This project will help local job seekers to take the steps they need to transition into the horticultural workforce,’ Mr Buchholz said.
‘Through training and hands-on work experience, job seekers will gain a wide range of practical skills to ensure they have the confidence they need, to secure meaningful long-term employment opportunities within the agriculture sector.
‘Kalfresh, like many agri and horticultural businesses, has seasonal positions available at their busy vegetable packing and processing business at Kalbar and will work with DGT to provide training to participants who are interested in working in the agricultural sector. Some of the practical skills this group will gain include forklift, tractor and machinery training, as well as Work Readiness and First Aid training.
‘Suitable graduates will be interviewed and considered for available vacancies.’
Kalfresh CEO, Richard Gorman, says the business is keen support initiatives like this which help local people upskill and find work within their local community.
“We have a diverse workforce and the horticultural industry offers many opportunities for career growth and progressions. By working with DGT we hope to identify suitable people who live locally who are keen to join our industry and learn new skills.”
The Local Recovery Fund is an important part of the Australian Government’s $276 million Local Jobs Program and the broader Economic Recovery Plan. The program aims to increase regional workforce capacity by driving local solutions to local challenges, including through supporting training and upskilling opportunities.
More details about the Local Jobs Program can be found at: www.dese.gov.au/local-jobs-program