Turtle

Fruit Industry Employment Program under way

Wednesday 4 September, 2013
Four Fruit Industry Employment Program (FIEP) crews will start work on environmental projects with Greater Shepparton and Moira councils, Parks Victoria and the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) next week after completing induction and training this week.

Four Fruit Industry Employment Program (FIEP) crews will start work on environmental projects with Greater Shepparton and Moira councils, Parks Victoria and the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) next week after completing induction and training this week.

The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) received $2 million from the Victorian Government to deliver an employment program for orchardists or orchard workers affected by SPC-Ardmona’s announcement that it will cut its fruit intake.

Goulburn Broken CMA CEO Chris Norman said 18 people had undertaken first aid training and completed Chemical User and Construction Card qualifications in preparation for beginning work next week.

“While many of the program participants have a range of relevant skills, it’s important they have the opportunity to update their qualifications, and acquire new ones, that will help them with their long-term employment opportunities,” Mr Norman.

 Over the coming months the work crews will work with agencies around Shepparton, Tatura, Cobram and other towns across the Agricultural Floodplains in the Catchment’s north, carrying out weed control, fencing, infrastructure work, rubbish removal, nest box building  and other activities that protect and enhance local waterways and landscapes.

Mr Norman said more program participants would be recruited during the next few months.

“The orchard industry told us that a flexible work program would best meet their needs,” Mr Norman said. “Therefore we expect some people will be part of the program for only a couple of months while others may seek six to 12 months’ work.

“The FIEP aims to keep these skilled people in our communities, build capacity and future employment options through training and hands-on experience, increase people’s understanding and appreciation of the value of protecting environmental assets, and keep fruit growers and their workers gainfully employed while longer term horticulture industry transition decisions are made.

“Importantly too, during a time of uncertainty and change, the program will encourage people to mix with others and talk about and share their experiences, rather than feel isolated and forgotten.”

For more information about how to apply for FIEP positions, contact Toni Jacobson at Programmed Integrated Workforce on 03 5831 7676. Applications can be made in person at the Programmed office at 193A Corio St, Shepparton.

An example of the type of activities the crews will undertake.