For those looking for seasonal work abroad, working in agriculture is an option to consider. Even for those who do not have professional qualifications or do not speak foreign languages very well, this can be an interesting way to get to know new countries, earn something and get in touch with other workers of all nationalities.
Like the entire labour market, the agricultural sector has undergone numerous changes in recent decades. Work has increasingly become a skilled activity requiring special training and knowledge (also to reduce the risk of occupational accidents, especially among the youngest and most inexperienced), such as handling vehicles or agricultural equipment.
However, there are still manual activities such as fruit and vegetable harvesting that can be a good opportunity for seasonal work.
It is a strenuous activity concentrated over a relatively short period of time, with a minimum work schedule of 36 hours per week. Room and board are often provided by the host farm. Most positions are offered for the summer season from May to September, but many countries require year-round employment for certain types of positions.
No prior experience or specific qualifications are required; workers with experience in the agricultural sector or specific skills can work in certain areas, for longer-term jobs such as supervision, quality control, repair and operation of machinery.
Seasonal jobs in Finland
In Finland, the agricultural sector is mainly based on the production of strawberries. This sector attracts many seasonal workers, especially in summer in rural areas (mainly in the eastern regions and in Varsinais-Suomi).
Accommodation is provided by the farms in some cases; the work is hard.
Prior knowledge and/or special qualifications are required only for jobs involving the operation of agricultural or harvesting machinery.
Compensation is determined by collective bargaining agreements, but it is always better to check the salary and expected conditions before signing the contract and make sure they are in line with the established wage. When looking for a job, it is a good idea to contact companies in the industry. Such as this:Alenteen
Farm contact details can be found online on the Finnish yellow pages.
Seasonal jobs in Norway
In Norway, in addition to the agricultural sector, there are also good employment opportunities in the fish processing industry, especially in Trondheim, Bergen and Vardo. When looking for work, it is advisable to contact the companies in the sector directly, such as this company: Northern Delight
Many companies require a year-long stay, while some accept applicants for two weeks in the summer.
Contact information for the fishing and farming companies can be found on the website Norwegian yellow pages
Seasonal jobs in Sweden
In Sweden, peas, cucumbers and spinach can be harvested in the southern counties of the country from June to August.
Contact information for the farms can be found on the website Swedish yellow pages
Seasonal jobs in Denmark
Denmark offers the opportunity to work seasonally in the strawberry harvest, it is enough to know a little English. The harvest season lasts from mid-May to August. The working day usually starts early in the morning. Usually at 5:00 am and lasts about 6-8 hours six days a week. The pay is about 1,00 €/kg (gross). On average, 15 kilos can be collected per hour. Experienced people can even reach 40 kilos in an hour. Much depends on the size, ripeness, number of rotten strawberries, etc.
As for accommodation, it is common to sleep in tents, which in most cases must be brought, sometimes the employer can provide accommodation (for a fee). Farmers provide communal bathrooms and kitchens.
- Plukselvfrugt, database containing the data of many companies and their location
- Danskekjordbaer, farm in Hedensted
- Krmmergrd, farm in Bækmarksbro
- Vitokan, farm in Gandrup
You should know that anyone who wants to stay in Denmark for more than 3 months must apply for a “Statsamt” (residence card).
I would also like to point out WWOOF, (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). This is a worldwide movement that matches volunteers with organic farmers. In exchange for your work (usually 4/5 hours per day), you will only receive room and board, but no financial compensation. In return, you have the opportunity to learn the local language and learn new things about agriculture and other fields. There is a fee for the website, you have to pay a registration fee for each country you want to work in.