On 11 May, Huon Valley Councillors and staff met with representatives from the Get Picking Program (Geeveston Community Centre), Fruit Growers Tasmania, local fruit growers, education and training providers, employment services and all levels of government to plan for a fruitful and supported 2021/22 harvest season.
The End of Season Dinner and Workshop was held at the Huon Valley Trade Training Centre, where attendees discussed the challenges and successes of the previous picking season, as well as ways to work together to encourage more Tasmanians to take up picking jobs.
“It has been excellent to have an evening where we reflect on what we have learnt during this season like no other, and especially to focus on how partnerships between community, industry and local government can make a difference by working together,” said Michael Higgins, Manager of the Geeveston Community Centre.
“Following some really good discussion, the takeaway of the night was that our growers are not alone.”
“We have tried some new things this season like piloting transport. Next season we will face some challenges too, so we need to start planning for it early.”
Huon Valley Council Mayor Bec Enders said one of the options for next season was to make use of the Jobs Hub that the Tasmanian Government plans to open in Huonville.
“The Jobs Hub would provide opportunities for work-readiness programs and access to training,” said Cr Enders.
“The End of Season workshop was a really positive event. Following some really good discussion, the takeaway of the night was that our growers are not alone. We’re all behind them and we’ll keep working together on solutions to issues that are affecting the sector.”
Holding the event at the Trade Training Centre provided a great opportunity to showcase the learning centre and enable the students to practise their menu development, cooking and table service skills.
“Thank you to everyone who participated in and supported the event, and an extra big thank you to the staff and students at the Huonville High School and Huon Valley Trade Training Centre who served up delicious meals with great professionalism,” said Cr Enders.