For your convenience, our most common questions are answered right here.
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Q: What makes a Good Picker?
A: A good picker is reliable, quick and picks quality fruit. Quality fruit varies depending on variety, but is commonly:
• Not under ripe (is the correct colour throughout),
• Not over ripe (is adequately firm),
• The correct size, and
• Contains no bruising or cell damage.
Picking fruit correctly allows packing fruit more efficient essentially leading to more picking, more punnets and therefore more money.
Q: Can you guarantee me a job?
A: We do not guarantee or promise anyone a position. We offer fruit picking work based on the suitability of applicants for work of this nature, their availability and our labour requirements.
Availability is key. Due to the nature of the job the number of open positions needs to be filled within a day or two. Therefore we prefer applicants who are already living or travelling in the area and can start immediately.
Q: How can I apply for a job?
A: We advertise positions on our Facebook page and Gumtree. To apply for a position, please fill out the application form. Applications via text message or email will be not be taken into consideration.
Due to the large number of applications we receive, we regret that only shortlisted candidates will be notified. If you do not receive a reply to your application within 2 weeks, your file has not been shortlisted.
Q: Do you have accommodation?
A: Easy Pickings is a contracting employment agency and does not offer on-site accommodation. However we do have working relationships with local lodging and can recommend quality accommodation in the area. There are also a number of caravan parks in the area.
Q: How will I get to the farm?
A: As many of our workers live in or around the city of Melbourne without a car, Easy Pickings makes life easy for their employees by providing transport to and from our contracted farms. The Easy Pickings transport car, van or bus meets workers daily at at 3 pick-up point in and around the city and returns them back to the pick-up point at the end of the working day.
The journey is approximately 1h 15min each way as the majority of our contracting farms are conveniently located in the 3139 postal region. Post code 3139 is the closest area code to Melbourne CBD recognised as ‘regional’ by the Australian Government to fulfil your visa requirements.
Easy Pickings charge $12.50 per day for the return journey between the city and the farm. Should you choose to use our transportation service, the amount is deducted from your pay.
Q: How often will I work?
A: Easy Pickings contracts workers on volume of work available. The amount of fruit available to be picked varies seasonally. However, with our labour contracts completed during harvest we have flexibility in workload, allowing us to offer more consistent days.
As well as fruit available, the frequency of work is dependent on the worker’s overall availability, reliability, and performance. The stronger you are in all three areas, the more work you will receive.
We aim to provide all our workers the opportunity to gain their second year extension to their working visa; therefore we strongly recommend you commence your work with us as early as possible during your primary working holiday. Our priority is to help as many workers as possible gain their visa.
Q: Do you work when it rain or when it is hot outside?
A: Fruit pickers work outdoors in a variety of weather conditions. Weather conditions can be hot, dusty, humid or rainy, but work usually continues in these conditions to ensure the harvest is completed on time.
Q: How many hours are there in a working day at Easy Pickings?
A: A typical day with Easy Pickings will begin on the farm at 7am and end between 2.00-4.00pm.
The number of pickers will be agreed daily based on the fruit available. We aim to find a balance between having the bushes picked to be stocked with quality ripe fruit and giving our pickers the opportunity to earn a respectable amount of money for their hard work.
Q: What am I required to wear & bring to work?
A: Working in rural Australia, it is important to be prepared for your environment.
We recommend you bring:
• Water (we recommend a minimum of 3 litres)
Wear appropriate clothing: hat, strong footwear (boots or trainers), garden gloves (preferably rubber and fingerless).
Nail polish on hands must be removed – we are working with food
Q: What will I potentially earn?
A: Almost all of the fruit picking is paid on piece work rates and fruit pickers are not guaranteed a minimum amount per hour. Each employee’s wage is based primarily on the volume of quality produce that they pick. Put simply this means the more you pick the more you earn.
Pickers who adopt our suggested techniques tend to be more successful. A good picker can potentially pick 300 punnets in a day. However picking is seasonal and is also dependant on the fruit available.
Q: How will I be paid?
A: At Easy Pickings, we pay our employees through direct transfer into their bank account, every Friday, based on every punnet picked from the previous week. We do not pay cash in hand.
On pay day, we supply each employee with a payslip detailing what has been earned and the tax and payments made. Easy Pickings retain a copy of each pay slip for collating information, in order to help our pickers complete their Employment Verification (form 1263) during the secondary visa extension process.