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3 November 2020

Looking for casual farm work over summer?

Are you keen to earn money over the summer months to support yourself while you’re studying in Australia? Do you enjoy being active and outside? If so, you may want to consider available opportunities for seasonal harvest work on farms in regional Victoria.

What is harvest work?

Harvest work describes a variety of jobs such as fruit or vegetable picking, packing, pruning and planting in country areas. You generally don’t need special skills to undertake these farm jobs but it can involve physically demanding work.

You can find out more about what harvest work is on the Australian Government’s jobactive site.

Interested in working on a farm?

If you are an international student and you’re considering seasonal work in country Victoria, the Australian Government recommends you use the Harvest Trail Information Service (HTIS) to look for farm jobs.

The HTIS is a free service funded by the Australian Government and managed by the not-for-profit organisation MADEC. The HTIS team is in touch with growers and labour hire services all around Australia and can tell you about job vacancies that are not advertised anywhere else. Visit the Harvest Trail website to look for farm job opportunities or contact the HTIS team on 1800 062 332 (a free call in Australia from landlines and mobiles) for more advice.

Will you need to move or find accommodation?

If you would like to do some farm work but will need to move location to do so, you may be eligible for the Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job grant – an Australian Government program that helps eligible workers relocate to accept an offer of employment. You can find more information and fact sheets about government-funded relocation assistance on the jobactive site.

With most farm work located in rural and remote areas of Australia, you’ll also need to consider accommodation options and available facilities. Some employers may offer accommodation, food and/or transport with a job offer but be careful when considering what is a reasonable deal before you accept. Make sure you agree to any job conditions in writing, particularly if an employer will deduct costs for any additions directly from your pay. Remember you are not obliged to accept any additional services and it is illegal for a business to ask you to stay in their accommodation as a condition of them offering you a job. You can find out more about accommodation and transport in harvest areas on the jobactive website.

Know your work rights and responsibilities in Australia

While you are looking for work, it is important you know your rights as an international student employee. Remember that while you are in Australia, you are protected by the same set of workers’ rights as everyone else. 

While there are many opportunities to find legitimate work while you’re studying in Australia, unfortunately we sometimes hear reports of international students being targeted by scammers.  

Looking for other employment?

If you are interested in employment opportunities other than harvest work, consider DeakinTALENT’s Jobs and Internships Board for a range of job opportunities.

You can also use popular job sites such as Seek, CareerOne, Indeed or Jora when searching for jobs in Australia. Creating a LinkedIn profile may help you find work as well – many employers advertise casual and part-time opportunities via this platform.

Again, be careful when responding to job ads outside of DeakinTALENT and government services such as the HTIS. Beware of jobs ads containing little or vague information, and ignore any emails or other communications you may receive that are unsolicited or unexpected as these may be scams – you will not be offered a legitimate job in Australia by someone you do not know if you have not submitted an application. 

Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) website for general information about your rights at work, with advice available in more than 30 languages. Here you’ll find information on pay rates, holidays and time off, ending your employment and issues in the workplace.

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