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Rebuilding the Agricultural Workforce

Author: The Allen Consulting Group

Organisation: Business/Higher Education Round Table

Published: January 2012

Country: Australia

Research type: Report

A scoping study that reviews the effectiveness of current interventions designed to increase the number of people with higher education qualifications in the agricultural workforce. Although employment levels in on-farm agriculture have not been growing, there is a shortage of skilled labour across the agriculture sector, particularly when agribusiness is taken into account. Based on current projections, this problem is expected to get worse. Although focussed on occupations requiring VET (vocational education and training) qualifications, AgriFood Skills Australia (ASA) (2011) has identified that new and emerging skills for agriculture and horticulture will occur in a number of areas spanning many types of agricultural production. The project has identified 12 intervention strategies, which have been applied by Australian universities, grouped in three broad areas: next generation; product development; industry focussed. The interventions are not mutually exclusive: they can and have been used in combination and may overlap. The purpose of the project has been to identify interventions and subject them to a form of evaluation as a precursor to the development of detailed recommendations.