Australia’s biggest grain exporter has secured the 2000 casual workers it needs for the coming bin-bursting WA harvest — including plenty of city dwellers — despite a labour shortage gripping the State. CBH Group chairman Simon Stead said recruitment for the harvest had gone well, thanks largely to a marketing push in the metropolitan area. “It’s been successful in the Perth metro area to raise CBH’s profile and put it on the radar. I’m confident we will have enough people for the harvest,” he said. CBH confirmed it had received about 3000 applications for the positions, after launching its campaign in June. Working at CBH over harvest is common for people raised in rural WA, particularly when they finish school or during university breaks. But this year city dwellers were also targetted via advertising campaigns which included TV, radio and social media. CBH chief people officer Kelly McKenzie said the co-op also worked with the State Government on a new edition of its Paid Escape campaign, which aims to connect regional WA with Perth jobseekers. “As we received applications at a faster rate than anticipated, we have now managed to fill most positions available in our five zones,” she said. CBH could not provide a breakdown of country versus metro workers. Although a relief for CBH, WA grain farmers are still left about 1000 workers short of on-farm labour, after the State Government failed to deliver on a quarantine solution that would have enabled them to access skilled foreign labour. Ms McKenzie said further applications would be accepted until September 15, with new applicants to be placed in a reserve pool should a position become vacant. Workers are stationed at bins across the Wheatbelt, stretching from north of Geraldton to Esperance in the south and east of Merredin. Pay rates start at $29.16 an hour.