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Cotton Australia’s New Service Addresses Labor Shortage

Cotton Australia has taken action to help solve one of the Australian cotton industry’s most enduring challenges–the shortage of seasonal workers.

A new online service, Cotton Jobs Australia, has been created to connect growers with prospective employees by allowing them to post jobs they need filling and then accept applications for those jobs through a simple online form.

The new platform was developed by Cotton Australia with funding assistance from the Queensland Government. Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay said the jobs website will support growers through the busy season ahead.

“This platform will play a key role in addressing the industry’s seasonal labor shortages, which were triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Kay said. “Working on an Australian cotton farm is highly rewarding, with most growers paying above-Award rates and offering interesting roles with great conditions.”

As of July 1, the national minimum wage is $20.33 per hour or $772.60 per week, according to Australian Fair Work ombudsman. Employees covered by an award or registered agreement are entitled to the minimum pay rates, including penalty rates and allowances in their award or agreement. These pay rates may be higher than the national minimum wage.

“We encourage our Cotton Australia levy paying growers to post their job advertisements today and we call on job seekers to visit the website regularly to discover and apply for their next exciting career opportunity,” Kay said.

“This season we’re forecasting a crop in excess of 4.5 million bales, which means our growers will be very busy producing our sustainable, high-quality cotton,” he added. “That means our workforce shortages will really start to bite unless we get applicants filling the jobs that are available on farm. We really look forward to growers fully utilizing this new tool and seeing a flood of job seekers applying through Cotton Jobs Australia to head out on farm and take up the exciting roles, now and into the future, in our industry.”

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Cotton grower and Cotton Australia deputy chair Bernie Bierhoff said the new jobs platform is a win for growers and job seekers.

“As a grower, I am excited to have this fresh opportunity to recruit for the exciting positions I have available on my farm,” Bierhoff said, adding that the Cotton Jobs Australia web page is easy to use, it doesn’t take long to upload a job ad, and it’s a simple process to apply for a role.

“I really encourage everyone to use this platform to help solve our industry’s workforce issues,” Beirhoff  added.

Cotton Australia will provide training resources to any levy paying grower wishing to use the platform to advertise their job opportunities.