By Growcom CEO Stephen Barnard

Finding the right people at the right time and place to keep businesses running has always been a challenge in horticulture. COVID-19 has exacerbated these issues and put them into even sharper focus. 

Earlier this year the independent National Agricultural Labour Advisory Committee released the National Agricultural Workforce Strategy. One of the most important recommendations to come out of this report was the need to improve perceptions of agricultural work and careers. 

Growcom is launching a new Gap Year campaign in partnership with Australia’s largest digital platform for high school leavers, Year13 that aims not only establish horticulture as gap year option but a rewarding career path. 

Funded through the Federal Government’s Harvest Trail Services Industry Collaboration Trail, the Gap Year campaign is an investment in young Australians, providing them with a better preview of the industry and what opportunities are available in Queensland. 

Through the campaign Growcom is also continuing its investment in safe and ethical employers, to ensure workers have the best possible experience in the industry. 

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 available to young Australians.  

As part of the collaboration, participating school leavers will complete pre-induction training through FarmReady Hub and be given assistance to find employment. 

Employers wanting to take on school leavers will need to prove their ethical employment practices through Fair Farms Certification or demonstrate a commitment to good work practices. 

Growcom is currently seeking expressions of interest from Queensland growers to become Gap Year Employers of Choice. If you would like to register your interest or have any further questions, please contact Blair Brown on 0456 639 098 or email