While new technologies, systems, processes and business models are important, people are the critical element in ensuring the growth of Australian rural industries.
AgriFutures Australia collaborates with the other research and development corporations, government departments, the private sector and not-for-profit organisations to highlight the opportunities a career in agriculture has to offer.
AgriFutures Australia is working across the agricultural research and development system to address ‘people’ issues. Specifically, the National Rural Issues program develops research that explores:
- the skillsets required to service an increasingly technologically savvy sector
- where the workforce will from
- how to attract and retain skilled workers, including young people
- the image of agriculture as a possible inhibitor to attracting and retaining a quality workforce
To build prosperous and sustainable rural industries, we need producers with the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions about the future of their enterprises and industries.
Currently the supply of people into agricultural careers is not keeping up with the demands of an ageing workforce. We must take action now to ensure the future of the sector.
Additionally, with the explosion of new technologies emerging from digital disruption, agriculture also needs more highly skilled people with a diverse range of academic, technical and practical backgrounds.
Introducing agricultural career pathways in schools is critical. Agriculture needs to be promoted as a viable and attractive career path, not just for students from a family farming background.
In short, agriculture needs an image makeover. It is time for the branding of the industry to reflect and promote the innovative, diverse, forward-thinking and positive lifestyle farming offers.