Even though Australia has one of the driest landscapes in the world, there’s a growing agricultural sector that has achieved success by adapting its agricultural practices to the attributes of the land. However, this country is experiencing an extreme shortage of agricultural workforce, which is why there are high demand for farm worker jobs in Australia. Australia has various agriculture visa programs in an attempt to attract qualified farm workers to work and live in Australia.
For years, many foreigners have found Australia to be a great country to seek new opportunities. However, the agriculture industry in Australia includes small, medium, and large-scale commercial farms. This makes it easy for foreigners with degrees, and little, or no qualifications to get farm worker jobs in Australia.
Meanwhile, irrespective of the size, most farms make use of machinery to prepare the land, plant, harvest, and process farm produce. These types of machinery may include mechanical planters, tractors with GPS technology, automated irrigation systems, and drones handled by a computer. Furthermore, securing farm worker jobs in Australia can be physically challenging, therefore you must be physically fit and be ready to work outdoors in very hot/cold weather conditions.
In this article, we’ll discuss the Agriculture visa program, how to get the visa and methods of securing farm worker jobs in Australia.
Agriculture Visa Programs
The agriculture visa program in Australia is no longer available. This is a fresh visa program presented by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs to manage and improve the workforce shortages by encouraging foreign farm workers to work at Australian farms. However, the Australian Agriculture Visa is linked to the PALM program and the new Pacific Engagement Visa that is being implemented by the government of Australia.
Furthermore, the Australian government plans to strengthen its partnerships with the Pacific by introducing a skilled immigration program. Foreign farm workers are invited to work alongside Australian farmers to support its agricultural sectors such as horticulture, dairy, wool, grains, fisheries, and forestry.
The Visa Policy
As an applicant, you must meet certain criteria to qualify for the skilled visa program. Listed below are the criteria to be met.
- The required minimum age is 21 years of age, you can not participate if you are below this age. However, there’s no maximum age limit.
- At the time of application, applicants are expected to be living in their country of origin.
- This visa program doesn’t allow applicants to travel with their family, it’s expected that you travel alone.
- The required minimum English language skills are overall band 4 or equivalent on the International English Language Testing (IELTS).
- Applicants must have experience and/or qualifications to work in the outlined role in the job offer letter.
- In addition, applicants must have adequate health insurance.
- Being sponsored by Temporary Activities Sponsor (TAS) who is an employer approved by DFAT to participate in the program.
How to Get the Australian Agriculture Visa
To apply for the Australia Agriculture Visa, you will need to follow these three simple steps.
- Step one – Application: You must complete an online visa application and provide your personal and professional information. This is a sponsored visa program, therefore, you must provide information about your Australian employer. Ensure you have all your educational qualifications and supporting documents close, to accurately fill out each necessary field.
- Step two – Confirmation: Proofread and recheck to be sure that all the information entered in the visa application form is done correctly. Any mistakes in your application may cause it to be rejected by the Department of Home Affairs. However, the most common errors in visa applications include misspelling names and last names and sometimes mistakes in passport numbers and dates of birth.
- Step three – Payment: Once you have proofread and are sure that all the information entered is accurate, then, you can upload the supporting documents and pay for your Agriculture visa.
How to Get Farm Jobs in Australia
Are you planning to immigrate after securing a farm job in Australia? You are on the right page. In this article, we’ll discuss the various methods of searching for farm worker jobs in Australia. Read on!
1. The Official Harvest Calendar
An official harvest calendar is a tool that the Australian government usually lets people know about the right time and place to get farm jobs in Australia. This tool we highly recommend is great to use during your search. Furthermore, it will serve as a guide on locations where you have higher chances regarding the time of the year.
2. Online Job Portals
Oftentimes, farmers post their available positions on online job portals such as Gumtree, Seek, and many more. Ensure you check them out!
Gumtree is a type of online portal to search for almost anything in Australia, as well as a farm job. More often than not, you can check out the phone numbers of the farmers and contact them directly.
Another good online job portal is Seek, it’s also a great job searching website where you can find many farm job opportunities. Both are well known in Australia and they should be the first tools you use to find a farm worker job. It’s free, user-friendly, and allows you to apply quickly.
3. Recruitment Agencies
Working agencies are always a good place to look when you arrive in a new country. They are free and can help you by contacting you when farmers need workers. Also, you can check them out online and apply even before landing in a new country.
Farm Worker Job Roles
Farm workers in Australia have various job responsibilities, which may include some or all of the following.
- planting crops by hand and/or with machinery.
- Building trellises for easy climbing of vegetables and vines.
- Operating farm machines to cultivate, fertilize, spray, and harvest farm produce.
- Controlling weed growth, insects, fungus growth, and diseases by spraying the field with chemicals.
- Participating in crop maintenance (thinning and weeding).
- Picking fruits and vegetables either by hand or with the use of a machine.
- Grading and sorting farm produce based on size, into containers.
- Loading fruits and vegetables containers into trucks.
- May also partake in other farm work tasks.
Physical Attributes of a Farm Worker
Various farm worker jobs in Australia can be physically challenging, therefore you have to be physically fit. These physical activities may include the following.
- Must be strong enough for heavy lifting, bending, and walking long distances.
- Also working at heights, climbing up, and down ladders or machinery.
- You may have to do some repetitive work and a long period of standing (In the case of working in a packing shed).
- In addition, you may have to work outdoors and indoors in very hot/cold temperatures.
- You should be able to differentiate between red and green colors.
Personal Skills and Attributes of a Farm Worker
- Must have a good working ethic, and show commitment, initiative, and motivation towards work.
- Must always be ready and willing to learn new skills and participate in training if necessary.
- Must also have strong attention to detail and a commitment to quality.
- In addition, a farm worker must be able to listen carefully and follow instructions.
- Ability to work independently as a team, as well as under pressure.
- Must possess a good level of English proficiency.
- Previous experience in a physical or labor-intensive job would be a bonus, although it’s not essential.
Working Hours of a Farm Worker
As a farm worker in Australia, your working hours will vary greatly from season to season. However, on ordinary days, you may have to work for 8 hours a day. Employers may also demand that you work more hours with your agreement but not exceed 12 hours daily.
Your hours of work will generally be between 5.00 am and 6.00 pm daily. In addition, workers will work a minimum of 30 hours per week.
Salary of a Farm Worker in Australia
The average annual salary of a farm worker in Australia is $61,255 or $31.40 per hour. However, entry-level positions will start at $53,620 annually, while many of the experienced workers can make up to $91,540 annually.