WA agriculture shortages supported in wake of COVID-19

The importance of agriculture has been reinforced, with the WA state government launching a program to fill labour shortages in the industry.

In a response to COVID-19, a partnership between the state government and FoodAllianceWA will help connect job seekers with opportunities across the agriculture, fisheries and food sectors.

FoodAllianceWA, a network of agrifood industry associations, has launched the 'Here for WA' campaign and website, which will allow workers seeking employment in regional WA to register their interest and connect with regional employers, labour hire companies and recruitment businesses looking for casual, skilled and unskilled workers.

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Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the rapidly-changing COVID-19 crisis and restrictions on the movement of people was having a significant impact on the agricultural labour force.

"The COVID-19 crisis has absolutely reinforced the importance of agriculture and we are working closely with WA industry leaders to keep our supply chains open and businesses operating," she said.

"We know primary producers are concerned about labour shortages - the new FoodAllianceWA website will help fill these gaps by connecting businesses with workers who have been displaced from other industries such as hospitality.

"Employers can also search the new online database to find workers with specific skills and qualifications, such as forklift tickets, construction white cards or livestock experience.

"It is important that workers do not travel to regional areas until they have a job secured to comply with the latest travel restrictions and keep our communities safe."

WA agriculture and food businesses will have 12-months free access to the online database, providing employers with access to more than 7500 skilled tertiary students and workers under the age of 30.