26 September 2023

Agriculture workforce paper out for comment

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The National Agricultural Labour Advisory Committee is inviting feedback on a discussion paper exploring the future workforce needs of the agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries,

Chair of the Committee, John Azarias, said its National Agricultural Workforce Strategy Discussion Paper recommended actions to address the future needs of the industries as well as their closely allied service and supply chain industry sectors.

Mr Azarias said the actions would target school education, vocational education and training, and higher education as well as consider the impact of changes to agribusiness and broader society on the agricultural workforce.

He said the availability of workers, including barriers and impediments, had been considered, as well as the skills and knowledge needs of workers and business owners and whether current education arrangements meet their needs.

Opportunities, best practice and case studies and priority areas for action had been identified, he said.

Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud, said the Committee’s aim was to attract, retain and upskill the domestic workforce, as well as identify where access to a migrant workforce would be necessary to meet industry needs.

He said the Australian Government supported the agriculture industry’s target of becoming a $100 billion sector by 2030.

The Committee said the target was very ambitious and would require industry and governments to work together.

“We need an environment that enables growth and supports the production of premium products that attract premium prices,” it said

The 32-page Discussion Paper can be accessed at this PS News link with comments accepted until 1 June.

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