Sunday, May 26, 2024

Hinchinbrook forum to address harvest workforce shortfall

Hinchinbrook Shire Council will host an agricultural workforce forum on Friday as the region works to tackle workforce shortages ahead of this year’s sugar cane season.

Council says the Herbert Region crushed 4,531,004 tonnes of sugar cane during the 2022 season, with the help of 58 working harvester groups and two regional mills.

“Workforce planning for the fast approaching 2023 harvest season has identified the cane growing, harvesting and milling sectors are at risk of exhausting local recruitment options,” Council said in a statement.

“In a response to industry labour and skills workforce challenges, Council, in conjunction with the Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network (QAWN), partnered with the Queensland Government and Bowen Gumlu Growers Association, is hosting the Hinchinbrook Agricultural Workforce Forum to provide a platform for stakeholders to discuss options and opportunities.”

Mayor, Ramon Jayo said the region was facing the real threat of this year’s harvest being severely disrupted due to worker shortages.

“The Hinchinbrook Agriculture Workforce Forum will educate producers and agribusinesses across the supply chain to understand workforce options and opportunities. We are presenting an interactive program which will enhance workforce planning capabilities by providing options to future proof the agribusiness workforce,” Mayor Jayo said.

Representatives from Labour Solutions Australia, Department of Home Affairs, Department of  Agriculture and Fisheries, AgForce Cane and more will present at the forum.

Working Holiday Makers, PALM Scheme and Skilled Migrant workforces will also be discussed, along with providing information packages, highlighting current initiatives, and providing contact personnel to access workforce streams.

“Competition for jobseekers in regional areas is fierce, so finding good reliable people is a priority and keeping them is just as important,” the Mayor said.

The forum will take place at 12.30pm on Friday 14 April at Hinchinbrook Shire Hall.

For further information or to RSVP, contact Council on 4776 4600 or email events@hinchinbrook.qld.gov.au.

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