A representative on the National Farmers Federation Horticulture Council is calling on young people interested in agriculture to sign up for a new recruitment program.
AgCAREERSTART, which aims to open the eyes of young people to jobs in the agricultural sector, is a great opportunity to get a start in the industry, according to Forth's Mike Badcock.
"It's an interesting time we are heading into in the agriculture industry and we are in need of a skilled workforce," he said.
"I think it will be a great opportunity for anyone who wants to take it up.
"If you have a gap year, it is a good opportunity to get some experience in the job field that you want to have a career in going forward.
"If you want to get into tourism, then get some experience in that field and the same can be said for people wanting to get into agriculture."
Mr Badcock said working on farm involved more than just physical work.
"In agriculture, there are all kinds of job descriptions," he said.
"The work involves quite professional skill sets and we need professional people.
"There is a lot of technology used on farm now and it's not a physical nature workforce like people believe.
"There are plenty of other roles that people can fill."
The program allows participants to be be employed under award wages on qualified farms for up to 12 months.
As part of the program, participants will receive safety training, on-farm induction and VET scholarships to upskill on the job.
Participants will also be able to access government funded relocation assistance.
Meander dairy farmers Michelle and Brian Lawrence have signed up to be matched with someone interested in working on farm.
"From a dairy farmer perspective, it (the program) sits within the Australian Dairy Sustainability Framework, which is committed to building industry and employing people and we support that and that's why we applied for the program," Mrs Lawrence said.
"I think the program is a great opportunity to see what goes on in the agricultural industry and showcase what we do.
"Some people enjoy outside work rather than being stuck in an office.
"I hope they take away an understanding of the opportunities that are available and hopefully they get into a career in agriculture that supports us in some way."
The first on-farm placements will commence in March.
Applications for both farmer hosts and participants are now open.
For more information, or to register your interest, visit: www.agcareerstart.com.au
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