AT a time when many people are looking for work across Australia, GrainCorp is looking for up to 450 new recruits to help manage this year's Wimmera harvest.
On Monday afternoon, corporate affairs manager said 900 of the 3000 jobs the grain storer was looking to fill were in Victoria.
She said 200 of these were across southern Wimmera sites such as Carpolac, Natimuk, Nhill and Murtoa, and a further 250 at northern sites including Warracknabeal, Donald and Jeparit.
She said the numbers were estimates and that the final figures would depend on the upcoming grain season. The most recent season saw many Wimmera sites break records for grain received from nearby farmers.
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences' (ABARES) recent report predicted a winter crop production of 44.5 million tonnes (mt) in 2020-21.
That's 11 per cent above the 10- year average to 2019-20.
The forecast on the east coast, including Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland predicts up to 21.5mt, 18pc above the 10-year average.
GrainCorp chief executive Robert Spurway said the company's network of storage and receival sites was well equipped to receive the incoming crop, and he's looking forward to growing the workforce to manage it.
"We'll be combing regional and rural towns for new recruits and returning staff to help manage grain receivals at our sites throughout our network," Mr Spurway said.
"We want to support the communities in which we live and work, some of which have really struggled economically through the drought over the last couple of years.
From July 1, GrainCorp will offer casual positions to operate weighbridges and sample stands at receival sites, as well as hopper attendant and grain handler positions.
Mr Spurway said the casual positions played a vital role in GrainCorp's harvest operations.
"It's important that we offer an effective service for growers, but also that we provide opportunity in those small towns as one of Australia's largest seasonal employers," Mr Spurway said.
"We see this as a great opportunity to provide employment and be part of a revival in the bush following a prolonged drought and several months of disruption from COVID-19."
Claire Matthews, 22, from Greenethorpe in NSW, has worked with GrainCorp each season for the last four years and said she was hoping to return to a much bigger crop this year.
"There's early starts, hot days and work that flows into the evenings, only to get up and do it all again the next day - and it's absolutely worth it," Ms Matthews said.
"From chatting with growers and truck drivers to using technology to grade their grain, I've gained so much confidence in taking on new tasks and working under pressure in this job.
"My advice to anyone applying would be to get in quick when applications open, so you can complete the interviews and training before harvest hits, where life becomes much, much busier."
GrainCorp's detailed induction program provides casual harvest staff with technical training to ensure they are equipped with the right skillset for their positions.
The harvest recruitment program opens on Wednesday.
Details: graincorp.com.au/careers/harvest-recruitment .http://graincorp.com.au/careers/harvest-recruitment
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