Led by Regional Development Australia Moreton Bay – a regional approach was formed to launch a campaign targeted at recruiting suitable and motivated workers for the Strawberry fields of the Moreton Bay and Sunshine Coast regions.

A group of 11 growers agreed to be part of a trial and the Sweetest Job Campaign and website www.thesweetestjob.com.au was launched on 26 May at Taste n See Farms in Bellmere and on the Sunshine Coast at Jedaco Berries Farm. The media coverage was fantastic, with Channel 7 and WIN both featuring the campaign on their local and national primetime news bulletins and local print media running with front page stories.


Success of the campaign

Now about 2 months into the campaign, and still early season, the number of new local jobs created stands at around 40 for the farms included in the trial, more than an 8% increase in local employment – a great start.

What employers have to say

Listen to what two new employees and their employers have to say:

“We had no hesitation in selecting Mark because of his enthusiasm and great attitude,” says Rodney Prestia who manages recruitment at Sunray Strawberries. “If all goes well, we would be keen to keep Mark on during the off season and to put him in a more senior position next year. Ideally, we would like to have plenty of returning local workers in key positions within our business.” Having completed his induction, today was Mark’s first day out in the field picking strawberries. And, far from being daunted by the work, Mark says he is loving his new job and likes the idea of piece rates because the harder he works, the more he can earn.  

Sonya Chaplain, originally from the Gold Coast, moved to Caboolture to spend more time with her grandmother. Mrs Chaplain had just returned from living in England, and had started applying for strawberry picking jobs without success. “Places I applied for said they were full, but then I saw the Sweetest Job campaign” she said “I applied and got the job.” Mrs Chaplain said she was now considering buying a house in the area. “I would definitely keep doing the work. I would love for it to turn into something more permanent and buy a house in the area” she said.

For more information

If you have an appetite for collaboration and a desire to improve your business performance contact Anthony Dow, Business Cluster Manager, RDA Moreton Bay mobile 0409 264 722 or
email: anthonyd@rdamoretonbay.org.au.

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