School-leavers: take a gap year at home
A new campaign has been launched to encourage young Australians to take a gap year in their own backyard. The campaign has been created by Growcom, the peak industry body for Queensland horticulture, and Australia’s largest digital platform for high school-leavers, Year13. It’s hoped that the industry-endorsed, government-funded program will inspire more young Aussies to consider horticultural work as a gap year option.
COVID-19 continues to cause huge disruption to labour supply, and Growcom CEO Stephen Barnard says the horticulture industry needs to continue exploring new and innovative ways to ensure industry has access to a reliable workforce.
“Through the Gap Year campaign, we’re investing in young Australians, providing them with a better preview of the industry and what opportunities are available,” he says.
“We are also continuing investment in safe and ethical employers, to ensure workers have the best possible experience in the industry. This is an opportunity to establish horticulture as not only a gap year option, but a rewarding career path.”
Year13 is dedicated to empowering young people to follow their passions, also working with government, employers and educators to bridge the gap in youth employment. The organisation has quickly established credibility with the 15 to 25-year-old demographic by producing engaging content that discusses the employment, education and travel-related opportunities that are available to young Australians.
Year13 co-founder and co-CEO Saxon Phipps says he and the Year13 team are excited about the opportunity this campaign provides, particularly as it mirrors the ethos of Year13.
“10 years ago, when we wrote the first business plan for Year13, we envisioned helping young Australians make more informed and considered decisions about their futures while closing the gap between unemployed youth and industries with skill and job shortages,” he says. “There needs to be more focus on providing opportunities across regional and rural Australia, and our partnership with Growcom does exactly that.
“We want to promote horticulture as a fulfilling career while giving young Australians more options of meaningful career pathways.”
As part of the collaboration, participating school-leavers will be provided with pre-induction training through the FarmReady Hub and assistance to find employment.
Interested employers will need to demonstrate their commitment to fair employment practices through Fair Farms Certification or other evidence of good work practices.
The Growcom Gap Year campaign is funded by the federal government through the Harvest Trail Services Industry Collaboration Trial. To find out more, head to gapyearaus.com.au