Support to safeguard agriculture sector and workers02/04/2020
The Victorian Government is supporting workers who have lost their jobs while helping to ensure the state’s vital agriculture sector has the workforce it needs to survive the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
As part of the $1.7 billion Economic Survival and Jobs Package announced at the weekend, the Victorian Government will ensure workers who have lost their jobs as a result of the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) can be matched with employers in the agriculture sector in need of additional workforce support.
The $50 million Agriculture Workforce Plan will support the agriculture sector and regional communities to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – providing practical backing for critical food industries.
The initiative is part of the $500 million Working for Victoria Fund established to help workers who have lost their jobs find new opportunities. It will enable the sector and associated critical primary production industries to meet their labour and operational needs during this difficult period.
Regional Development Victoria and Agriculture Victoria are working together to match displaced workers to vital industries, such as horticulture, dairy, meat and food production or manufacturing, as well as transport and logistics services.
The initiative will also help pay for training expenses to ensure redeployed workers have fast access to any necessary training.
It will provide opportunities for workers to be matched to roles within their regions and towns, while looking across the state to fill unmet demand for critical food producers, processors and business in food supply chains.
Under the scheme, workers will be given support to relocate if needed, which will provide flow-on benefits for the accommodation sector hit by the double impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and bushfires. This will be done with the highest health and hygiene protections and social distancing controls.
Employers and workers in the agriculture and food production sectors will also benefit from payroll tax refunds and deferrals as part of the Government’s Economic Survival and Jobs Package.
Measures have been put in place to ensure business continuity, such as removing restrictions on truck curfews to speed up restocking efforts and supporting important food processing facilities to continue safe production.