VegetablesWA welcomes new Labour Specialist to boost grower workforceBY DAN KUZMICICH PRESIDENT, VEGETABLESWASeveral employers have expanded in size due to the stability of their SWP workforce.In late April, vegetablesWA welcomed Kit Sainsbury as the new Labour Scheme Facilitator.Kit took over the Labour Scheme Facilitator position, previously held by Melissa Denning, and brings to the role a wealth of knowledge and experience from previous positions held within the not-for-profit sector worldwide.This role is tasked with assisting horticulture growers find suitable labour through the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) and Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS).If any of you are unclear about the programmes, I will provide a brief overview below.The Labour Scheme Pilot was established in 2019 and scheduled to run for a 12-month period.The goal of the pilot was to assist 6-12 employers with accessing the SWP and PLS and to determine why there was resistance to utilise them.The COVID-19 situation changed the labour landscape in Western Australia significantly, and as backpacker numbers dropped, industry was forced to adapt.The SWP and PLS programmes have allowed many horticulture growers to do this. The programmes are accessible to work with any type of grower e.g. Pome, Citrus, Stonefruit, Potatoes.The State Government agreed to fully fund the Labour Scheme Facilitator role, with vegetablesWA overseeing the delivery of services.Based on the feedback we have received to date, 100 per cent of Approved Employer’s agree that having Seasonal Workers has led to an improvement in their business.Improvements are varied, from better productivity between SWP workers and Working Holidays Makers (WHMs) and between SWPs in their first and second year.Several employers have expanded in size due to the stability of their SWP workforce, creating more down-stream jobs for Australians and other businesses.No matter what sector of the horticulture industry, Kit will be able to guide you through the labour options available to you during this time of rapid change.MORE INFORMATIONIf you would like to get in contact with Kit to discuss your labour needs, his contact details are below.Kit Sainsbury, phone 0477 477 044 or email