Latest news

PALM scheme attracts Tasmanian fruit growers.

Fruit Growers Tasmania | Friday, 20 May 2022, 4.00pm

PALM scheme picture banner
Image: Australian Government

Fruit Growers Tasmania in conjunction with Approved Employers of Australia conducted regional workshops last week providing Tasmanian fruit growers with an update of the latest labour trends influencing the fruit industry. 

Steve Burdette, Executive Officer of Approved Employers of Australia (AEA) informed participants about current mobility trends, options including the new Ag Visa status and risk mitigation strategies to consider when planning labour.  Steve also provided an update regarding the new Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme, including advice for eligible businesses considering Approved Employer applications.

Several growers indicated interest in collaborating with others and becoming Approved Employers in order to improve the portability of key labour within the season, as well as to provide a placement sufficiently long enough to be viable for direct employees. 

Many growers commented on their experience of favourable productivity by the PALM scheme participants.  The potential for improved portability between businesses and for the same workers to return season after season retaining skills and building new ones was also seen as a significant driver in exploring Approved Employer status.

There was useful discussion and advice of particular relevance to growers engaging with the PALM scheme via an approved Labour Hire company.

  • Investigate multiple service provider options.  Ask each of them about their strategy on recruitment, the type of workers they have and their suitability for your operation.
  • Read contract agreements between yourself and the labour hire company thoroughly, ask for clarification on any points if required.  These are commercial contracts, some labour hire companies may have flexibility, explore options to negotiate on terms.
  • Ask labour hire providers what contingency planning they have undertaken to mitigate downtime for employees in the event of disruption in your business.  Approved employers can nominate alternative primary employers in their contingency plans, this can make it easier and quicker to find alternative placements for employees if required.

Steve Burdette has offered to make himself available via video conference to Tasmanian fruit growers who have follow up questions relating to becoming an approved employer under the PALM scheme.  If you are interested in participating please contact

Lawrence Cowley - Industry Development Officer


mobile: 0437 628648

Previous Next

Return to the news index