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Backpackers Can't Get Fruit Picking Work In Oz

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I was in Australia recently and spoke to a Brit working the hotel door. Ex-brickie, he and the girlfriend had gone for a year rather than buy a house here. They've decided to stay but for the second year, they have to do work that Aussies don't want, else they can't get a residency visa.

It basically means fruit picking in the middle of nowhere. But, here's the catch ...... so many people want residency you effectively have to pay them to let you work. The wage is a few dolllars for a hundred metres of fruit picked, then you have to pay for accomodation and food. So you have to save to be able to pay for your 2nd year, as an investment in the long term.

It's not just Lincolnshire where immigrants get shafted!

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A graduate I know, who was tired of a 2 hour commute for minimum wage in London, went to Australia for a 6 month job she was offered. After 6 months they have not renewed the contract and as I understand it in order to extend the visa they take a few months of causal farm work jobs. Not sure what she is going to be left with after the plane tickets. It is really tough now. At best it can be the choice between short-term low paid work vs unemployment.

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I was in Australia recently and spoke to a Brit working the hotel door. Ex-brickie, he and the girlfriend had gone for a year rather than buy a house here. They've decided to stay but for the second year, they have to do work that Aussies don't want, else they can't get a residency visa.

It basically means fruit picking in the middle of nowhere. But, here's the catch ...... so many people want residency you effectively have to pay them to let you work. The wage is a few dolllars for a hundred metres of fruit picked, then you have to pay for accomodation and food. So you have to save to be able to pay for your 2nd year, as an investment in the long term.

It's not just Lincolnshire where immigrants get shafted!

On the plus side with all this cheap labour maybe my weekly shopping bill at Coles will drop a bit?

Norfolk and Chance.

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"more apples than pickers"....and this was in 1983!

I feel for them.

We were in Oz back in Feb/March, and heard locally that backpacker numbers were greatly reduced. It was thought to be down to the Oz$ being so high, and things being generally more expensive than a few yrs ago. Locals were moaning a lot about rising costs, esp. rents/property. We were told in Darwin that rents there were higher than in Sydney. Couldn't believe that at first but it was confirmed by someone else.

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When my dad was retiring a few years ago, he was asked by my brother's father-in-law, a Chinese gentleman, what plans he had now that he would have a lot of free time on his hands.

My dad replied that he might like to go to France a pick grapes.

The father-in-law asked with astonishment if he was serious because surely a man with my dad's level of skill and experience would be able to find a better job than that.

My dad's idea of grape picking was probably to get up at around 10 then an hour or so picking grapes before a 3 hour break for lunch and a siesta, a bit more picking in the afternoon and then spend the rest of the evening playing pétanque and hanging out in the village café; not the most accurate portrayal of life for an average fruit picker.

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I was in Australia in January.

Most inexpensive accommodation (hostels, etc) along the East Coast were booked up. I spoke to a travel agent about it, and she said she had never seen it so busy. She also said that nearly all of the flights from Europe had been fully booked, and cited the economic mess in Europe as the reason

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I was in Australia recently and spoke to a Brit working the hotel door. Ex-brickie, he and the girlfriend had gone for a year rather than buy a house here. They've decided to stay but for the second year, they have to do work that Aussies don't want, else they can't get a residency visa.

It basically means fruit picking in the middle of nowhere. But, here's the catch ...... so many people want residency you effectively have to pay them to let you work. The wage is a few dolllars for a hundred metres of fruit picked, then you have to pay for accomodation and food. So you have to save to be able to pay for your 2nd year, as an investment in the long term.

It's not just Lincolnshire where immigrants get shafted!

But those immigrants in Lincoln will get tax credits and other perks - the Aussies don't give that. Plus immigrants to the UK will make savings that will go a very long way back home - British citizens money wont go anywhere.

Edited by sf-02

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I was a banana picker in Queensland in the late 80,s for about six months,,,what a laugh looking back and I have great memory,s of my fellow workers from all over the world ...back then it was also hard to get a job picking fruit in oz ...but nothing like as hard as getting a job in Glasgow under that cow thatcher...looks like the wheel is doing a full circle again

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Things were certainly bad during the early nineties, but to put it in perspective, I saw an advert in a tanning salon for assistants (not supervisors or anything)

Minimum THREE YEARS retail experience required.

They only sell about three things and I don't imagine it's much more than NMW.

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Things were certainly bad during the early nineties, but to put it in perspective, I saw an advert in a tanning salon for assistants (not supervisors or anything)

Minimum THREE YEARS retail experience required.

They only sell about three things and I don't imagine it's much more than NMW.

Takes me back for sure ...my brother talked me into going over to Spain in 1990 to do a summer handing out flyers etc for clubs ...on the flight from Glasgow to Spain he hands me the daily paper that most of Scotland read at the time and there was one job in it !!! And it was for an experienced chip fat fryer....that was the day I knew I had to leave Scotland for good if I ever wanted anything in life....

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Takes me back for sure ...my brother talked me into going over to Spain in 1990 to do a summer handing out flyers etc for clubs ...on the flight from Glasgow to Spain he hands me the daily paper that most of Scotland read at the time and there was one job in it !!! And it was for an experienced chip fat fryer....that was the day I knew I had to leave Scotland for good if I ever wanted anything in life....

There is plenty of SERIOUS money in Scotland if you are in the 'right' field.

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There is plenty of SERIOUS money in Scotland if you are in the 'right' field.

I take it you are a scot that was a school leaver in the 80,s....Care to enlighten me what the 'right' field is or was when I was needing a job say mid 80,s to early nineties.....

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I take it you are a scot that was a school leaver in the 80,s....Care to enlighten me what the 'right' field is or was when I was needing a job say mid 80,s to early nineties.....

Many people who got into IT, finance, oil and gas or even dare i say it property :ph34r: during that time have done very nicely indeed.

Not saying it was easy , and i was not looking for work at that time - however in hindsight its very easy to pick out what work you should have got into and when.

Of course working that out at the time is another thing - many people do manage it though . . ;)

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When my dad was retiring a few years ago, he was asked by my brother's father-in-law, a Chinese gentleman, what plans he had now that he would have a lot of free time on his hands.

My dad replied that he might like to go to France a pick grapes.

The father-in-law asked with astonishment if he was serious because surely a man with my dad's level of skill and experience would be able to find a better job than that.

My dad's idea of grape picking was probably to get up at around 10 then an hour or so picking grapes before a 3 hour break for lunch and a siesta, a bit more picking in the afternoon and then spend the rest of the evening playing pétanque and hanging out in the village café; not the most accurate portrayal of life for an average fruit picker.

That's hilarious, but true. I don't think many middle-class folks really have a clue about these hard manual labour jobs. When I was 17 and still lived in the US, I did tomato picking for a Summer. Out of the 18 Americans that the farmer hired, it was only another chap and I who lasted the Summer. It was hard and backbreaking work and to even make it worth your while you ended up skipping breaks and working an extra hour or two. It's one thing for a 17 year old in a remote location with no other opportunities to take a job like this, but quite another for a 23 year old with a college degree to do this.

I think the students have got this all wrong regarding Oz and these work visa's. I know one lad who instead of following the sheep, worked crappy jobs here in England and made himself enough money to go to South America for three months. Instead of having to work nasty jobs for about 9 months of the year, he's just travelled to somewhere with a much lower cost of living.

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That's hilarious, but true. I don't think many middle-class folks really have a clue about these hard manual labour jobs.

When we still had class mobility a lot more (e.g. me) did. I think you're right that it's not like that now.

When I was 17 and still lived in the US, I did tomato picking for a Summer.

Interesting. I never did tomatoes, but I did do strawberries. They were tough (hot and backbreaking) but not the worst, I always thought that was autumn potato picking. What was specifically hard about tomatoes? (I'm not implying you're making it up, just curious since that's a plant I never had the joy of harvesting!).

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Many people who got into IT, finance, oil and gas or even dare i say it property :ph34r: during that time have done very nicely indeed.

Not saying it was easy , and i was not looking for work at that time - however in hindsight its very easy to pick out what work you should have got into and when.

Of course working that out at the time is another thing - many people do manage it though . . ;)

How many school leavers in Glasgow got a chance to go into IT or the best one finance !!!!! Are you being real about finance ...as for oil or gas I tried but as you will know at this time there was a recession in full swing and to get onto the rigs you needed a trade and to learn a trade you needed an apprenticeship and as thatcher and her southern hatchet men had laid my city to bare an apprenticeship was rarer than chickens teeth..I knew ONE friend that made it onto the rigs from my age group yes ONE.... as for property the late eighties was house repossession time and you could not give a house away ..how do I know that maybe because my parents family home was repossessed and I ended up homeless....I have watched over the years as my school friends one by one fell by the wayside to drugs,drink and despair ....they were let done disgracefully by the government at the time and the previous goverments that followed done nothing to address any of the problems they faced ...the only way I made it was because I got on my bike and left as you see I was not raised in bearsden or newton mearns ...I am sorry I have let lose but I was there and lived it and seen all the horribleness that went along with it ....i am very bitter about what happened to scotland and northern england in thatchers reign...a feckin horrible time to grow up and thank god the rave seen arrived to cheer everybody up.....hindsight in the late eighties was a differant thing....

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  • 243 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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