Work and wander out yonder: information for workers

Find out how to apply for short and long-term regional work and what to consider.

Last updated: 25 September 2020 at 12.56pm

Work opportunities

Regional WA is facing a significant labour shortage due to COVID-19. If you are looking for employment opportunities, now is a great time to consider working in and exploring the regions.

A person holds a bag of avacados.

The range of regional jobs on offer is diverse, spanning fruit and vegetable picking, grain harvesting, working on cattle stations, bartending, waitressing, cleaning and tourism.

Taking up these roles will not only help keep our economy moving during these challenging times but also provide unique travel experiences in some of WA’s most stunning locations.

Find a job

Combining work with travel can be one of the best ways to explore regional WA. Employment services and websites can help you find regional work in agriculture, tourism, hospitality and other sectors.

Recruitment websites include:

Western Australia's Jobs and Skills Centres

Jobs and Skills Centres are located on TAFE campuses across WA, with additional outreach locations for regional areas. The centres act as one-stop shops for careers, training and employment advice and assistance. Services are free for all community members.

The centres also provide an online jobs board, to connect jobseekers with employment opportunities and to help employers attract and recruit employees.

Contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64 or find your nearest Jobs and Skills Centre for help finding a job.

Regional job opportunities

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The scope of seasonal jobs available across WA is diverse, spanning 3 main sectors — agriculture, tourism and hospitality.

Regional map

An map depicting regions within Western Australia and different types of work available.

Agricultural roles that may be offered

Roles Region/Timing
Grain harvest machinery (header, chaser bin, MC truck) plus general farm hands, au pairs and cooks
  • Midwest: September to December
  • Wheatbelt: October to December
  • Great Southern/Esperance: October to January
Hay cutting tractor and truck driving
  • Midwest: September to October
  • Wheatbelt: September to October
  • Great Southern/Esperance: September to October
Vegetable picking / packing
  • Kimberley: Ongoing / all year round
  • Gascoyne: Ongoing / all year round
  • Midwest: Ongoing / all year round
  • Perth to Peel: Ongoing / all year round
  • South West: January to March
Table grape picking / packing
  • Kimberley: June to November
  • Gascoyne: October to January
  • Peel: October to March
  • South West: December
Melon picking / packing
  • Gascoyne: August to October
Banana picking / packing
  • Gascoyne: Ongoing / all year round
Mango picking / packing
  • Gascoyne: December to February
Avocado picking / packing
  • Midwest: December to February
  • Perth to Peel: December to February
  • South West: July to March
Citrus picking / packing
  • Midwest: June to October
  • Perth to Peel: July to February
Stone fruit picking / packing
  • Perth to Peel: October to March
  • South West: October to March
Tomato picking / packing
  • Perth to Peel: November to February
  • Gascoyne: September to October
Strawberry picking / packing / planting
  • Perth to Peel: Ongoing / all year round
  • South West: Ongoing / all year round
  • Great Southern: Ongoing/all year
Vineyard pruning / thinning / picking
  • Perth to Peel: July to March
  • South West: July to March
  • Great Southern: July to March
Apple picking / packing / pruning
  • South West: January to April

Financial support

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A support scheme is in place to help you pay for your travel and accommodation.

The Primary Industries Workers Regional Travel and Accommodation Support Scheme will allow eligible workers who relocate more than 100kms from their home to claim a $40 per night accommodation rebate for up to 12 weeks.

In addition, a relocation allowance may be claimed to assist with travel costs.

Full details about the scheme and who’s eligible to apply can be found by visiting the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development website.

Relevant short courses to upskill

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Learn about qualifications that may help you get a job.

Not all jobs require training or qualifications. However, completing a short course may help you secure work in the regions.

Access to upskilling and retraining is now easier than ever through the WA Government’s $57 million package for the WA TAFE and training sector. The Lower Fees, Local Skills initiative reduces fees across 39 high priority courses. 15 free short courses are also available in areas including hospitality, agriculture, logistics, cyber security, civil construction and small business.

The free short courses can also be used as a credit towards a full qualification from the Lower Fees, Local Skills initiative.

For more information visit the Jobs and Skills WA website or contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64.

You may also wish to consider completing a First Aid Course or WA Responsible Service of Alcohol training if you are working in hospitality.

Tips for workers

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When deciding which job is right for you, find out as much as you can about the role, the business, accommodation, and available amenities and services. You can search for information online, ask the prospective employer for information or contact the local council.

Accommodation

Before accepting work, you should research accommodation options and costs, and facilities and services available. You may also wish to discuss onsite accommodation options with your employer.

Caravans, campervans or tents can be accommodated on many properties. There is also commercial accommodation, such as caravan parks or backpacker hostels, in most areas if on-site facilities are not available.

Some employers provide basic accommodation with beds and cooking facilities, but you may need to provide your own bedding, so check before you arrive. In many locations, it is illegal to camp outside a designated camping area. Check with the local visitor information centre before camping.

Transport

Transport options will vary depending on the job location. Often work is located in remote areas and having your own transport will increase your chances of getting a job.

Some town-based accommodation providers may also offer transport to work locations.

Discuss the available options with your employer.

What seasonal work involves

Some agricultural work jobs can be physically demanding and employers may look for physical strength and stamina.

For example, harvesting can involve heavy lifting, frequent bending, climbing ladders, working at height or operating heavy machinery. Packing produce may be less physical but is generally more repetitive.

The skill levels required for these roles vary and some may require particular experience and abilities.

Before applying for a job, check if you have the personal attributes, qualifications and skills requested in the advertisement.

What to bring

Before travelling to start work, ask your employer what to bring, and check what will be provided.

Consider:

  • sun protection, including a broad-brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen (broad-spectrum or water-resistant SPF30+)
  • sturdy closed-in shoes
  • personal products, including toiletries or medication.

Sightseeing

There are plenty of exciting places to visit and explore in the regions. Do some research before heading out, or visit the local visitor information centre to find out what nearby sites and national parks you can travel to.

For more information, visit the Tourism WA website or Explore Parks website.

Keep up to date with COVID-19 restrictions

It’s important you remain up to date with the latest advice and any restrictions in WA before accepting or starting your job, and throughout your employment and travels. 

Two people walking in nature

Useful resources

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Helpful employment information is available from different agencies.

WorkSafe WA
Information about employee rights and responsibilities.

WorkCover WA
Information about your rights and entitlements if you are injured at work and need to make a claim for workers’ compensation.

National Harvest Guide
Information about working in Australian harvest areas.

Fair Work Ombudsman
Information about workplace rights and obligations.

Fair Work Ombudsman – Horticulture Showcase
Information about workplace rights and obligations in the horticulture industry.

Page reviewed 25 September 2020