Summer on the farm - next steps

Opportunities beyond seasonal work for Tasmanians this summer

Summer on the farm - next steps


This summer, Tasmania’s farms are looking to locals to fill the place of seasonal workers. 

COVID-19 is impacting the movement of people, placing limits on the usual seasonal and itinerant harvest workforce to reach Tasmania.

While the focus has been on finding short-term workers quickly, are there opportunities from this summer to step into a career in agriculture?

The answer is yes there are opportunities and this could be any combination of more work, training and further education.  The choice of agricultural careers is too long to list but a good place to learn more is the Career Harvest website (  As well as farm work Tasmania has many agricultural services and supply businesses creating job opportunities.

For anybody interested in harvest work this summer, they should know that there are next steps they can take to create a career in agriculture.

First of all, this summer

Harvest jobs are in high supply in Tasmania and can be found on the Harvest Trail Jobs Board (

As Harvest Trail say, harvest work can involve jobs like fruit or vegetable picking, packing, pruning and planting.  It can be rewarding but physically demanding.[1]

Workers are paid at piece rate (e.g. by weight of fruit or number of containers filled) and it takes skill to make sure it is all of a high quality.  The best harvest workers make over $300 a day, the reward of years of good practice.[2]

Next steps

Here are some options that could be considered as next steps to turn a summer on the farm into an agricultural career.

Everyone has different personal circumstances and should be responsible for deciding their own next steps.  For each of the options presented a link is provided to an organisation that can help you learn more before making a commitment.

> Employment

The Harvest Trail website will profile new jobs, as will other job-listing websites (Jora, Indeed etc.).

Employers may have ideas for more work opportunities.

Labour hire companies can find work placements or positions in teams that perform contracted services.

> Apprenticeships and traineeships

Becoming a farmer's apprentice would involve them linking with an Apprenticeship Network Provider and agreeing on a combination of training and work; see  The average duration is three years and the focus is on-the-job training leading to a national qualification.

> Vocational education and training

TasTAFE offer a range of training courses that progress from shorter and specific courses to longer courses that provide the foundations for an agricultural career; see,-horticulture-and-environment. The TasTAFE facilities include elements of different farm types so it is not all classroom learning.

The focus of vocational education and training is not just on the skills but why the skills are important, so we know when and how to apply them in a workplace.

Employers with experiences of vocational education and training may have ideas on what the courses are like.  They may also have suggestions on how it could connect to the harvest season as there might be an overlap between the harvest and the course schedule.

> University

A university degree is made up of different subjects that are taught as units.  Like a TAFE there is practical skills based learning but there is also an emphasis on developing a broad understanding of a subject that might not benefit you immediately but will prove valuable as you get further into your career.

Tasmania’s strong farming sector is reflected in the teaching and research provided by the University of Tasmania and options include a degree in agriculture and an associate degree in agri-business; see

> Entrepreneur

New businesses are started to take advantage of a great opportunity, to make money out of skills and experience and to help others.  Farms themselves are entrepreneurial and the problems they solve can be a source of new business ideas.

Business Tasmania is a free government service that provides excellent advice to new businesses; see  This is backed up by the Enterprise Centre and Digital Readyprograms which can connect entrepreneurs to business experts, all for free.

Summer on the farm - stepped out

 < Pre qualifications

Summer on the farm (now to March)

 > Next steps

 > Go see

 > And get

Primary Employers Tasmania:

  • AgCard


AGRISKILLS Entry Program:

  • Skill set 1: first aid, handling methods, quad bikes, side by side vehicles, chainsaws
  • Skill set 2: forklift, tractor, front end loader operations
  • Skill set 3: transport and store chemicals, prepare and apply chemicals



  • Veginduction courses

 > Employment

  • Employer
  • Labour hire company
  • Harvest Trail
  • Full time work
  • Part time work

 > Vocational education and training (VET)

  • TasTAFE
  • VET providers
  • Cert I
  • Cert II
  • Cert III
  • Cert IV
  • Diploma
  • Advanced diploma

 > Apprenticeships and traineeships

  • Employer
  • Apprenticeship network provider
  • Group training organisations
  • Jobactive providers
  • Trade qualification
  • Certificate qualification

 > University undergraduate

  • University of Tasmania
  • University College
  • Bachelor degree
  • Associate degree

 > Entrepreneur

  • Business Tasmania
  • Entrepreneurship Facilitators
  • New Enterprise Incentive Scheme
  • Enterprise Centres
  • Sole trader
  • Partnership