FPJ1902 – Pratley, J et al. (2022), The employer of choice or a sector without workforce?

FPJ1902 – Pratley, J et al. (2022), The employer of choice or a sector without workforce?

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Australian agriculture is at the crossroads charging ahead towards a goal of $100 billion GVP by 2030 but compromised by its limited ability to find a suitable workforce. The pandemic experience of 2020 onwards effectively terminated agriculture’s itinerant worker program of international labour, and the availability of domestic qualified labour is highly restricted. The agricultural workforce demand continues to both grow and change, moving towards greater skills and capability needs as a result of evolving technology developments, increased market complexity and business acumen imperatives. University graduate and VET paraprofessional supplies are well short of what is needed to fill employment opportunities and on current trends will stay that way unless there is intervention. This paper considers these issues and argues for greater industry intervention in education to increase the supply from particular target markets. Agriculture needs to become an employer of choice, or it will be without a workforce. 

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