Is­land life on de­mand

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TOURISM and the fam­i­ly­dom­i­nated agri­cul­ture in­dus­try have long been the ma­jor em­ploy­ment sec­tors on Kan­ga­roo Is­land but em­ploy­ers are hop­ing the area’s unique at­mos­phere will at­tract more pro­fes­sion­als.

Kan­ga­roo Is­land Coun­cil is the lat­est em­ployer to use the area’s serene views and nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment to en­tice busi­ness pro­fes­sion­als to re­lo­cate.

Coun­cil spokesman Dar­ren Keenan – who moved to Kan­ga­roo Is­land for work about a year ago – said they were try­ing to re­mind prospec­tive work­ers of the life­style ben­e­fits of work­ing on the is­land.

‘‘ Or­gan­i­sa­tions like a coun­cil al­ways need the most skilled and pro­fes­sional peo­ple they can get,’’ he said.

‘‘ I came here be­cause I saw an op­por­tu­nity for a pro- fes­sional chal­lenge at coun­cil – there are a cou­ple of is­sues that needed to be worked through – but I also saw it as a good place for bring­ing up a young fam­ily. You have the land and sea, the en­vi­ron­ment and op­por­tu­nity.’’

Mr Keenan said Kan­ga­roo Is­land of­fered a good place for as­pir­ing work­ers to be no­ticed, re­gard­less of whether they were work­ing for the public or pri­vate sec­tors.

‘‘ I think Kan­ga­roo Is­land is a good place where peo­ple who work hard tend to get awarded,’’ he said.

Agri­cul­ture on Kan­ga­roo Is­land – where ma­jor towns in­clude Kingscote, Pen­neshaw and Parn­dana – is con­sid­ered the area’s big­gest in­dus­try.

It is run mainly by fam­i­lies who have been on the is­land for gen­er­a­tions, with about 12 per cent of the work­force in­volved in farm­ing.

Many farm­ers are selfem­ployed and pass their farms down to their chil­dren, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for those want­ing to buy into agri­cul­ture.

The is­land has a high rate of sons and daugh­ters ob­tain­ing higher ed­u­ca­tion qual­i­fi­ca­tions off the is­land then re­turn­ing to help with or take over the fam­ily busi­ness.

But there are op­por­tu­ni­ties for em­ploy­ment, with about half of all work­ers em­ployed as ca­su­als do­ing sea­sonal work as labour­ers, shear­ers, man­agers, egg col­lec­tors, bee keep­ers and main­te­nance staff.

The tourism in­dus­try is the is­land’s sec­ond big­gest sec­tor.

Health and aged care in­dus­tries also have a con­stant de­mand for work­ers.

– Adam He­garty

Picture: SA Tourism Com­mis­sion

IDYL­LIC: Tourism is a ma­jor source of em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for those look­ing for work on Kan­ga­roo Is­land.

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