Some regions experience different attraction and retention issues in both permanent and seasonal roles.

Some of the regional locations of the industry and industry roles experience greater attraction and retention issues than others. This is in part due to competition for a limited number of skilled people and because the information available on pathways into and through the industry and the associated qualifications is unclear or can be difficult to find. 

It can be difficult to attract people to work in the regions, as they often have more limited transportation and accommodation options as well as perceptions of limited lifestyle choices. This is compounded by the highly seasonal and short-term demands for workers.  

Many seasonal tasks in the industry require a particular skill or know-how which is typically acquired in short introductory non-formal training sessions or while on the job, rather than by way of completion of qualifications. Seasonal tasks include: 

  • pruning, painting and vine training in June-August
  • bud rubbing and shoot thinning in October-December
  • crop thinning in December-January
  • bird net clipping and thinning bunches in February, and
  • harvest in February - April

The short duration and high intensity work required during these tasks means the learner may not have sufficient time available to conduct any formal training, particularly if this were to occur off the worksite. While significantly more employees are required during these peak times, a large core of permanent full-time positions are also needed. Attraction and retention into these roles can be problematic, with competition for workers happening both domestically and internationally. We understand anecdotally that this can result in companies offering higher and higher wages to attract new and current workers from other businesses. 

It is understood, through engagement with industry, that the bulk of new entrants are typically those looking for a career change and the drivers are as many and varied as the people themselves. Anecdotally, people make the change after discovering a passion for the industry or a move to a region. Barriers to this transition can include the lack of visibility of obvious pathways across the industry, the lack of recognition of prior learning and the lack of visibility and access to qualifications that are pertinent to specific roles.