22 Nov 2021

Online job expo hopes to entice seasonal workers for picking season

10:30 am on 22 November 2021

A job expo which helps link job seekers with jobs in the horticulture sector is moving online this year.

Pacific Islands workers have been described as invaluable to New Zealand's horticulture and viticulture industries.

Some growers are still facing a shortage of workers going into the picking season. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Last year, Employment and Careers South held a series of expos around Southland and Otago to help those who found themselves unemployed due to the pandemic get jobs in the horticulture sector which was short staffed due to the border closure.

With summer just around the corner and the border still shut - some growers are still facing a worker shortage going into the vital picking season.

With Covid event restrictions the job expo called Super Summer Jobs has gone online this year.

Employment and Careers South co-chair Deb Sutton said lots of fruit company's have already signed up to the Super Summer Jobs Central Otago campaign.

"Dunstan Hill, Leaning Rock, Suncrest, PurePac, Sarita Orchard, Sunfruit Syndicate, Gourmet Summerfruit and Viticultura are among those that have joined.

"With the border closed and limited numbers of RSE [recognised seasonal employer] workers available, upwards of 5000 seasonal workers are needed to replace the overseas workers growers and orchards in the region usually employ through the summer and autumn harvests.

Sutton said a variety of jobs are on offer, including the fruit pickers, packers, forklift operations, and quality controllers. No experience is needed for picking or packing roles as training will be given.

A positive of having the job expo online means it can reach people all around the country, she said.

The Super Summer Jobs website goes live today.

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