FINDING people to work on dairy farms is the one big issue on the minds of dairy farmers, Dairy Australia's general manager, farm profit and capability Greg Jarman says.
"I hear it time and again, and I see first hand how this impacts farmers' abilities to operate their farm and, as a result, plans for future growth are often put on hold," he said.
"We are very well aware that attracting people to work in dairy and giving them opportunities for development is critical to the future success of the dairy industry. That is why we have prioritised labour as a key investment area.
"COVID-19 has exacerbated this long-standing issue, with labour shortages in many parts of the Australian economy creating a very competitive jobs market. This is evident across all regions and across all areas of agriculture."
Dairy Australia supports the development of great people in dairy through a broad range of training, a focus on farm business and manager courses, and by contributing to the improvement of professional services. Further investment will help us support the industry with:
- Enhanced employment and health and safety tools for farm businesses that can be easily accessed.
- Delivery of one-to-one support to customise workforce requirements for individual farm business needs.
- Greater levels of information to farmers on workforce data to allow improved decision making.
- Expansion of partnerships with agricultural recruitment specialists, providing greater access to people with the right capabilities through multiple channels including overseas workers, school leavers and local people.
- Connecting farm businesses with key recruitment partners who can proactively recruit from multiple sources and provide farmers with access to options such as government labour schemes and agricultural visa initiatives.
- A large-scale recruitment campaign to promote dairy as a great career and lifestyle opportunity to attract new people to dairy.
- Real-life work experiences to attract people to consider a career in dairy and provide them with a kick start to starting in on-farm roles.
By increasing awareness of the career opportunities in dairy, creating clear pathways to get a job in dairy, and directly supporting farm businesses with their workforce needs, Dairy Australia will support farmer businesses to overcome the labour challenges that they are facing today.
"Our investment in creating interest in the industry, supporting the hiring of people, and providing opportunities to develop and advance people in dairy will be critical to industry success," Mr Jarman said.
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