A FORMER Bendigo football player is set to launch a new app connecting farmers and workers.
It is the culmination of a journey David Fevaleaki started when he arrived in Bendigo to play for the Pioneers.
Without that opportunity he might never have started travelling the country, noticing shortages of labour and realising the need for something new to help workers and ethical businesses connect.
"I came here from Robinvale when I was 15-years-old to follow that footy dream and did an apprenticeship as a renderer," he said.
"So I was in an unfamiliar environment with no family doing different trades and travelling around playing footy all over Australia."
Mr Fevaleaki and his team are doing their final tests on Back Picker, an app designed to connect travelling workers with businesses across Australia.
"It could be anyone who wants work during the harvest periods, those on visas or migrant workers coming to Australia, for example," he said.
"It's those entry level workers who have no skills or experience but is looking for work like (fruit) picking or packing."
Workers can also specify if they have specific qualifications - say, a forklift licence - and see results automatically filtered to meet their needs.
"So they can put in their certificates and documentation and the app will do visa verification and student number checks, to show farmers and other business owners whether you can work 20 hours, 40 hours, etc, Mr Fevaleaki said.
That would save everyone involved time and paperwork and reduce the risk of workers being turned away at the last minute because someone discovers an oversight, he said.
Labour hire companies would also be able to register to use the app and use it to help their clients, Mr Fevaleaki said.
Mr Fevaleaki was inspired to begin using a podcast after moving from Western Australia back to Robinvale.
"I was working with backpackers and farm owners again and I was hearing about their pain points over a few beers in the evenings. That really started to resonate with me," he said.
Then he heard a podcast about innovation that argued the best products in the world solve a real problem.
"But it also argued that the person who solves them has a really deep understanding because they have experienced those problems."
The Back Picker app is expected to be launched in coming weeks.