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Towards a Better Understanding of Current and Future Human Resource Needs

The availability and suitability of labour in the Australian agriculture sector is an issue that has been of concern for a number of decades, but appears to have become more significant recently, for a number of reasons. These include the continual migration of young persons from rural to urban areas, an apparent decline in the number of persons opting for a career in agriculture, and competition for labour from
industries such as mining.

The first step in seeking solutions to improve the availability of labour in agriculture is obtaining a clear picture of both demand for and supply of labour in the sector. Unfortunately, this is not a simple task as currently available statistics do not provide a clear picture of the industry situation.

Labour statistics fail to capture seasonality, or use categorisations that are of little relevance to industry. Similarly, statistics concerning participation in education and training courses relevant to the sector use a number of different categorisation systems, and in recent years the publicly available higher education data has become almost completely irrelevant for agriculture, necessitating the unofficial collection of statistics to try and obtain some meaningful information about the real situation.

The research reported here has attempted to overcome these shortcomings in a number of ways. It aims to shed light on the labour situation in Australian agriculture and to identify actions that could be taken to improve it.
 
It is apparent that there are no silver bullets available, and that more concerted efforts are required firstly at the industry level, to position agriculture as an attractive career option, and secondly at the employer level to create better career paths with an increased focus on education and training.

Towards a Better Understanding of Current and Future Human Resource Needs of Australian Agriculture
aims to shed light on the labour situation in Australian agriculture and to identify actions that could be taken to improve it. The research, jointly funded by Horticulture Australia Limited, AgriFood Skills Australia and the Institute, involved a detailed examination of labour demand and supply statistics for the agriculture sector, an industry survey, and the development of future labour and demand supply scenarios over the next decade.

Full report
June 2010, pp. 1-113 (114 pages)
Publisher: Australian Farm Institute
Authors: AECgroup
ISBN 978-1-921808-01-2 (Web)
ISBN 978-1-921808-02-9 (Print)

$77.00


 
 




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