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Fragen & Antworten zum Farm Training

How is the Monday procedure?

The bus will come straight from Rainbow Beach to the Farm where you will be hosted by the team - Dan, Georgie, Leonie and other staff.
We will start with lunch, complete all paperwork and a representative from the bank will now visit the farm.

The Farm sells boots and shirts and a limited stock of jeans. Along with the usual penknives, phones, sims, torches and adaptors.
 

Please note:

If you want to pay for items in cash you MUST withdraw cash at Rainbow Beach - this is also very important if you want to pay for the travel expenses to your job in cash too.

Why will being a smoker limit my job offers?

  • fire risk
  • too many breaks employers don't like it
  • don't like smokers around their children
  • employers don't like cigarette smoke in their accommodation

What do I bring with me?

It is better for you to bring jeans with you. We find there is such a range of sizes. We have quite a range of boot sizes ($ 65-75) and shirts ($ 15). You will need at least 3 shirts. You will not be allowed to take part in the training if you do not wear long sleeved collared shirts, jeans/strong material trousers and boots with NO LACES.

Please let us know your boot size, we can convert to Australian sizes. These gives us an idea for stock purposes.

What mobile network do you recommend?

If you transiting or will be staying in a major city before joining the farm please make sure you get a Telstra sim card or phone. Networks such as Vodafone/Global Glossip offer cheap rates, but when it comes to signal, you only cover the major cities and nowhere else! 99% of participants who buy into this network end up purchasing another, if not a whole new phone package because their current phone is locked to other networks.

Most employers require employees to have a working mobile phone, even if the majority of the station does not get signal. This is because often they will need to run errands in town. If for example they drive 2 hours to get supplies and something else is needed, it is a long way and waste of time and money to send them again! We also need to be able to contact participants, especially to discuss second jobs and to give a number to an employer who may be interested in employing them. The Shop on our farm sell Telstra "Pre-Paid" (pay-as-you-go) sim cards and basic 'rural tick' (approved for best rural coverage) phones with sims included. We also sell micro-sims for i-phones, tablets etc. But no nano-sim cards available on the farm.However on farms phones can often get damaged and many participants prefer to buy a cheap handset and save their expensive phone for later when they are travelling.

Can I drive with the automatic driving licence?

The training farm will be careful when accepting participants who have automatic driving licences and no experience with manual driving. You must have a good number of manual driving lessons before coming and some other attribute/relevant skill to your profile. If you lie on their applications forms we will soon find out during the course, your options will be limited and you will perhaps be offered work you were not expecting to do.

The reason for this is the increase in the number of minor and serious accidents that we are witnessing with those riding motorbikes. This is due to the lack of basic prior knowledge of the way gears and clutches operate.

Secondly, it takes a lot of time to explain the concept before even learning to ride. This is unfair for other participants in the group. Their training time is limited and they are held back to beginner level tracks. Tractor driving is less dangerous however the point here still applies.

Can the greeters meet me at the airport during times other than Thursday morning?

Airport greeters can meet those arriving on Thursday morning (day one of the programme) at the international terminal.

Those coming into the domestic terminal are transiting in Sydney must allow time for transiting through to the international terminal- we recommend at least 4hours for the connection. They will often then be asked to take the shuttle bus ($5) from the domestic terminal to the international to meet up with the rest of the group.

If you find that flights are cheaper by arriving a day or so early, we may be able to accommodate a meet for you, however greeters work on a part time basis so we will be able to let you know whether this is possible closer to the time as they will not be able to commit far in advance. The training farm will be able to book you an extra night/s at the YHA hostel which will cost $33 to be paid on arrival if you inform us in advance.

If arriving in the middle of the night then the greeters will not be able to collect you but it is very easy to take a taxi (approx. $40), or during the day or evening , the AirTrain to Roma St (approx. $16) or the best option, the Shuttle Bus direct to the YHA (approx. $15-20).

How many hours do I work?

Farm work is a lifestyle not an hourly wage. If you are expecting a job that starts at 9 am and finishes at 5 pm with the weekends off, then the ranch training is not for you. You will be expected to work from sun up until sun down, 5 - 6 and at times, 7 days a week. Animals don't wait for people to get out of bed or understand public holidays. If there is a long muster to do you may be camping out for 10 days in a row, there may be a bushfire that burns for days and you will be expected to help save the property, not clock off when your hours have finished. On the other hand, if it rains, you may not work for 4 days until things dry up, or you may be paid to sleep in a truck for 6 hours while you travel to another property for work. If you try and calculate what you will earn per hour it will never be accurate, this is why the majority of our employers pay per week.

Remember food, accommodation, travel costs and tax is all included in your wage so calculating what you 'earn' per hour will at best give you a figure of what you can 'save' which can often be close to zero in many city jobs.

What is the accommodation like?

We have worked with close to 2000 employers over the past 21 years and so this a difficult question to answer. You could be living in homestead with a family, in workers cottages, in caravans and even camping or travelling in a truck. In all instances you should remember that this is workers accommodation, NOT A HOTEL. If a previous participant leaves it in a standard that is not to your liking, it is your responsibility to tidy it until it is to your liking. It will be basic, probably bland and very dated.
There may be spiders, frogs or geckos, or bore water that stains the toilets brown. But the most important thing is that it will be FREE! You must remember that you did not come to the farm to worry about the bed you sleep in, you have come to experience the job and 90% of the time you will not be in your accommodation.

How much does it cost to travel out to my first job?

We offer jobs nationwide. For that reason we cannot account for the cost of travel as part of the programme. The jobs you are offered could be 50 kms from the training farm- perhaps costing $ 70 in travel. On the other hand you may be offered an amazing opportunity that involves a 4 hour journey to Brisbane airport followed by a 6 hour flight to Perth, then 12 hours on a bus with 4 hours in a ute to take you to the station- perhaps costing closer to $ 600 with a few night's accommodation along the way.
In order for participants to not limit their job opportunities and miss out on a really great job because the initial funds are not there, we suggest bring at least $ 900. If you are sensible this will fund you for food/activities costs over the initial 4 days before the training programme, work clothes/phone and accessories, and the most important aspect- travel to get you to the placement.
We work with lots of properties in NSW and QLD because naturally being close to the border of these states, with have built up contacts through word of mouth. For this reason we say $ 200 - $ 300 is a good average cost for travel, and participants must expect to transit during the weekend following the course so there must be funds for hostel nights too.

In saying this, the most suitable job offer may be mustering cattle on horseback near Darwin so be prepared! Do not make travel money your last priority and remember soon you will be earning Aussies dollars and you will recoup these funds very quickly.

What happens if I have special dietary requirements such as being a vegetarian / gluten or lactose intolerant?

All large parts of populated/city areas along the East Coast are very accommodating with dietary requirements, outback Australia often doesn't get such luxuries. Many farms are self-sufficient and grow their own produce. Many vegetarians say they are comfortable eating side orders around the 'meat' but in some instances there may not be side orders. It may be steak for breakfast, sausages for lunch and beef joint for dinner. If you are a vegetarian you will need to be prepared to be flexible with job offers and expect that many cattle stations will just not be able to accommodate you. With other dietary requirements the story can be the same and station cooks just won't have the resources or time to make separate meals for you. Food is simple and traditional and often eaten when the work is done. Farmers are remote and so food is expensive and difficult to access. Waste is a huge concern and when it comes to being 'picky' about your food or leaving things on your plate, many won't have the patience for it.

What if my English is not good enough?

We accept all participants on the basis that they must have a high level of English to participate in the programme. The primary reason for this is SAFETY. By taking the training programme we can check that you understand and are able to follow instructions without injuring yourself or others around you when you go out to a real PAID job.

From experience we have found that those who have poor English do not get the most out of the course as they do not understand the teaching aspects and usually what the whole programme is about. We then struggle to deliver our product of a guaranteed job and find an employer who is willing to take on a participant where he will have to spend extra time and money explaining things.

These are real jobs, not English language courses.

Although you will expect to improve your English by working in an English speaking environment, you are being paid to work and carrying out tasks efficiently, sometimes working a lot on your own. If, following the training programme, the training farm feels your English is not strong enough for paid work then:

  1. You take English courses at your own expense and come to us a few months later when it has improved
  2. You take a volunteer position where you can experience farm work but in a less high pressure environment because you won't be paid or
  3. Given a list of possible contacts for fruit picking work.
    We want to be able to deliver our programme as intended and for participants leave satisfied and employed!

How long are most jobs and how long are most employers expecting me to work for?

Most employers are looking for participants to work the season – about 3 months. However, you can work for one employer for up to 6months if they have enough work. There are some shorter jobs such as harvesting but you should be prepared for about the 3 month mark.

Why do I have to wear safety gear? And what do I need to bring

What we request are the Australian health and safety recommendations and are for your safety during your training week and at your employment.
Long sleeve shirts and thick trousers may seem hot but they will protect you against injuries from falling off bikes and horses and from the sun or snakes.
Non-laced boots are VERY important - laces being tied up in machinery/stirrups are a hazard. Boots also protect against snakebites.
All clothing requirements are for your Safety and you will not be able to take part in the course without them.

Can you explain a bit about what I need to do to in order for you to organise my Tax file number?

Everyone in Australia must have Tax File Number (TFN) which is essential for legally working in Australia. The current tax rate for non-residents is 32.5%, but without a TFN you will be taxed at 46.5%. To apply for this we will need your Passport number, home address and date of birth details prior to your arrival into the country. (Please make sure these are written CLEARLY on your application form otherwise we will not be able to process the application) Tax file numbers can take up to 28days to arrive but usually is comes within a week. We apply for you the moment your plane lands in the country so that the number has more chance of arriving to the training farm before you leave us.

Please PRINT OUT YOUR VISA CONFIRMATION AND BRING IT WITH YOU.

It is essential to have an Australian bank account?

We work with Commonwealth who offer a free account. They provide debit mastercards, which means you can purchase on line – very important when you are booking flights/buses from a rural location. If you apply for your card 2 weeks in advance it will be waiting for when you arrive to the training week. Please do not do it any earlier than 2weeks as the bank are unable to hold accounts open for very long. It is very important not to transfer ALL of your money into this account. If by any reason there is a delay with your card, you will need a back up to pay for your weekend expenses and most importantly TRAVEL to your place of work.

Is it possible to find work with a friend?

It is possible under certain conditions. You must have a similar level of farm skills e.g. both good horse riders to be accepted on the same farm by one employer. If not you must be willing to compromise and go with a job that matched the skills of the lesser participant. You must be flexible with what type of work that is offered and be willing to do anything. You must also be prepared that you may have compromise on job location or the rate of pay and/or wait a bit longer for a job at your own expense. Jobs for two are not as common as single placements. The same applies to couples and the female has to be prepared for the fact that domestic work or childcare may be the option for her. Jobs together are never 100% guaranteed.

Can I obtain my second year visa with jobs offered through your programme?

99% of farm work jobs we offer are in the right area code to qualify for the second visa. If you are not suited to outdoor work and are looking for hospitality or childcare positions then you cannot obtain the second visa.

Can you guarantee me a horse riding job?

Riding positions are never guaranteed. However, it is likely that you will offered work riding if you have significant experience. Many of the employers we work with have very expensive and often difficult horses so they have to make sure they have the right people riding them.
In saying this 'riding jobs' have not been created for your entertainment, remember the employer needs a job done and he is paying you to do it. There will also be a lot of ground work / or cattle work in the yards and you will not be riding all the time.
We offer horse work in cattle mustering, polo yards, show jumping stables, racing studs and training and working young horses. Jobs in certain fields are more likely to come up during certain times of the year but you must be prepared for all scenarios as we can never predict elements such as the Australian weather that can dictate the job market. No riding jobs over 68kg for the reasons above.

Where are your jobs located?

You could be offered a job placement anywhere in Australia so you must be prepared to travel and work in a remote location and you must also have the funds to travel to that job from the training farm. It is recommended to have $900 available when you arrive depending on how much you are planning to see and do in Brisbane and at Rainbow Beach. Most travel costs are between $200-400 and because of the variety of jobs on offer we cannot factor this cost into the programme. In saying this, we have a lot of work on offer in Queensland and New South Wales because we are based on the East Coast and have many contacts. To be safe, and to cover food /tourist activities from the Thursday – Sunday of the programme, stick to the $900 reccommended amount. If you find you have spent all your money on trips to Fraser Island and cannot afford to pay to get to your job, the organizer will not be able to compensate for this.

How soon before I start paid work following the training?

Almost all jobs start the Monday following the course and you have the weekend to travel to your job. However with such large portions of Australia being so remote, Australian transport services are limited and occasionally you may have to wait a few more days to connect. Please be patient and be prepared to 'go with the flow.' accounting for hostel and food expenses all the way is a good idea.

If I am skilled in farm work, why do I have to take the training course?

The training course is an introduction to farm work and above all a safety course to make sure you are prepared for work on an Australian property. You are not expected to learn everything in a week so whether you are skilled or not, it is a great experience and a chance to meet new people. In addition to this, if you do have experience and qualifications, the way things are done in your home country may be very different from the Australian way. You are shown how things are done here and how your employer will expect you to work.
The course is also designed so that we are able to assess the skills that you say you have and match you to the right employer. We also assess your level of English to make sure you are safe enough to be sent to paid positions, also your manners and your attitude to work determine which employers we will match you to.

What will I get paid?

The organizing company works with the Level 1 Farming and Livestock Hand Award Wage. This is the legal minimum, however there are a lot of employers that pay a bit above this.

This is the break down:
Age: 20+ years
Gross: $606.40
- Tax now 32.5% ($409.32)
- keep – food and accommodation at $113.12
Giving a total minimum in hand SAVED $296.20 per 5-6 day week

19+ years is $255.26
18+years $214.34

If you think about the cost of living and recreational activities in a city, the amount to be SAVED is pretty good for an unskilled teenager, quite often straight out of school. Most of our employers will actually pay $300 - $350 NETT which is what we tell participants to expect to be offered and often say don't take anything less. Exceptions would be those who want to go to a job to learn e.g getting a lot of riding lessons under instruction to help improve their techniques, in some instances they will take experience over the money which is their choice.
After this $300-$350 – then we say anything above that is a bonus.
If they are very skilled, for example, can drive combine harvesters, excavators etc.. they may be able to earn per hour – up to $900- $1000 if they come in the right season and are lucky- but this is not be expected by the average person.
There are lots of jobs for skilled people that pay $450 - $500 NETT which is great but again we cannot guarantee higher than the legal minimum.

Why do I need a driving licence?

  1. The majority of the jobs that are offered are on properties that can only be reached by car. Employers always require their workers to drive somewhere. A major job role for our workers often involves running errands in the local area or even driving for several hours to the nearest town. People with licences will always be favourable over those without

  2. In addition to the necessity of a licence is having the actual ability to drive. Moving farm equipment around the homestead, taking fencing items out for repair work and moving livestock is also a vital part of everyday life on a station.

  3. If you are unfamiliar with how gears work on a car, it is unlikely you will have pre-existing knowledge of how to drive a two-wheeler motorbikes, four wheeler quad bike or tractors prior to joining the programme. In saying this we don't expect everyone coming to be able to do these things, and we want our participants to enjoy the training course and learn something. However, without a licence the training week can difficult as having this basic knowledge of manual gears on a car aids greatly when you are taught about more advanced vehicles and machinery.

  4. Remember these are real jobs and we need to be able to 'sell' you to an employer. Without a car licence, employers will be looking for some other skills that may be of interest to them to outweigh your lack of licence. Tractor or motorbike experience will be unlikely attributes if you cannot drive a car, and this only limits your choice of job options further.

  5. By far the most important reason is SAFETY. The majority of accidents that occur on the training farm and also when on the job, are by those who have never driven a car before and we do not want to put our participants or employer in any dangerous situations.

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