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7 December 2005
Find out about a plan to solve employment problems in some country areas.
KATE ARNOTT, REPORTER: The wine industry in the Grampians Pyrenees region is booming. Wine production is expected to triple in the next six years and another 800 hectares will be planted with vines.
Recently some wineries have had to employ teams of Cambodian fruit pickers from the Yarra Valley, and import workers from other regions to meet seasonal demand. Vineyard managers like Dale Clarke would prefer to employ and train local workers to plant and prune the vines and pick the fruit, but because the industry has taken off so quickly, there aren't enough locals around with the right skills.
DALE CLARKE, MALACOFF VINEYARD MANAGER: We just can't seem to get any local workers whatsoever. We're having to get workers in from other regions because there's just a big shortage of them here.
KATE ARNOTT: It's the same in the shearing industry. Rod Alexander has had to hire workers from New Zealand to help keep his farm running.
To tackle the worker shortage the Grampians Pyrenees Regional Development Board has come up with a novel solution. In a Victorian first it's formed the Seasonal Worker Network, which is made up of employers, TAFE colleges, job networks and labour hire companies.
The network aims to train 80 locals who can be employed across a number of seasonal industries and end up with full-time work.
DUNCAN HANDLEY, PROJECT CO-ORDINATOR: They could go from the wine industry. The pruning side of things takes place from, say, June to September during the year. They can finish in the vineyard then and then go into a period of shearing, then they could maybe move back into the vineyard through summer doing some vine training, and then maybe move into the meat-processing side of things through late summer.
DEREK LOY: Certainly ripe enough.
KATE ARNOTT: Vineyard manager, Derek Loy, teamed up with a job network last year. He employed and trained 20 new workers and says the move has paid off.
DEREK LOY: Clearly they were all enthusiastic to achieve as well. So we worked through those people and out of the 20 people we started with, we finished off with 18 of the same people.
KATE ARNOTT: What's been the attitude of workers that you've helped to coming back to places that they've worked at before?
TANIA BUTTERWORTH, JOB NETWORK: Oh, fabulous. Part of our role is we engender a bit of loyalty as well, not just to the industry but, if we can, to the employer.
KATE ARNOTT: For years, Patricia Popitini has been travelling around Victoria in search of work. But, with the prospect of ongoing employment in the Grampians Pyrenees region, she's decided to settle down there.
PATRICIA POPITINI, ROUSTABOUT: It doesn't worry me what it is, it's just working every day. It's different, doing other things. But, yes, you get the hang of it.
KATE ARNOTT: Seasonal workers who take part in the training at TAFE colleges will get a skills passport, a pocket-size book listing the courses they've done and their work history.
DUNCAN HANDLEY: So the aim is that when a worker arrives at a location he's got proof of the training he's done, proof of the work that they've done, and that gives everyone a level of confidence that they have the skills and can do the job.
DEREK LOY: It's going to build a bigger community on the broad picture. We're going to have the likes of younger people in the area wanting to stay to build communities, to spend money. It's going to be better for the country.
†Grampians Pyrenees region
The Grampian Pyrenees region is a rural area in Victoria.
To employ someone is to give them a job.
Seasonal means occurring during a season only, not for the whole year. People are only needed to pick fruit when it is ripe or in season.
Example: The film has taken off around the country.
For examples you can listen to and more meanings of the phrasal verb take off, follow the link.
more information: take off
Local means from a specific area. Local workers are workers who live in and around the area.
The word whatsoever means Ďat allí. Itís used to add emphasis to a negative phrase. You could say:
Example: There is no milk whatsoever.
Example: I had no interest whatsoever in that subject.
A shortage is when thereís a lack, or not enough of something.
To hire someone is to give them a job.
Here, a network is a group of people who have some connection.
Here, across means in every part of or in all of.
Seasonal industries are those that take place only at a certain time of year.
To end up is to finish in a situation or place after a series of events.
Example: You'll end up without a job if you're always late.
For examples you can listen to and more meanings of the phrasal verb end up, follow the link.
more information: end up
Full-time work is work that takes up five days of the week.
Pruning means cutting plants so they grow better.
Shearing refers to cutting the wool off a sheep.
Vine training is making the vines grow properly.
Meat processing is preparing meat for sale.
To team upwith someone is to join them so that you can do something together.
Example: I teamed up with someone I met at the youth hostel and we went hiking.
proved profitable or successful
Example: Hard work will eventually pay off.
For examples you can listen to and more meanings of the phrasal verb pay off, follow the link.
more information: pay off
To settle down is to start living in a place with the intention of staying for a long time.
Example: You should get a job and settle down.
For examples you can listen to and more meanings of the phrasal verb settle down, follow the link.
more information: settle down
†get the hang
To get the hang of something is to learn how to use or do something.
Example: It took me a while to get the hang of computers.
more information: do†