Australia’s agriculture industry is not only short on equipment; it’s also short on skills.
According to Fresh Plaza, with the world increasing its population every year, the demand for food is ever growing, but farmers to sustain that food are lacking.
In addition to that dilemma, the agricultural sector is also having a hard time recruiting skilled workers.
Dr. Ray Johnson, managing director at Agricultural Appointments in Melbourne, explained that the recruitment process has changed over the years.
“The online advertising of jobs has seen big changes, for example Linked In has had a big impact, but the biggest problem in recruitment in Australia at the moment is the skill shortage, trying to find the right candidate is a huge issue. We supply people from Farm Manager level up to CEO and Directors, but the bulk of our work is in the mid ranges, such as technical marketing, sales development, product managers etc.”
The unemployment rate in Melbourne is relatively low (5-6%), but the agriculture sector is among those suffering from significant skill shortage.
When you add the agriculture sector’s skill shortage with the low unemployment rate, finding skilled people to work on farms has become almost impossible.
The managing director lamented, “We have always recruited a small number of people from overseas, mainly in the technical skills area, it has been said that there are 4 agronomy rolls for every agronomy graduate in Australia. We operate mainly in the regional locations which adds a degree of difficulty as nowadays most agronomist graduates want to work in the major urban areas or in cities, but Australia is a big place and a lot of the jobs are in rural areas.”
One possible resolution to this problem is the implementation of “smart farming” methods in rural and remote areas via Internet of Things, which allows a single farmer to manage acres of land as the farming equipment takes care of jobs such as tilling lands, watering and seeding.
Fortunately, with the nbn™ Sky Muster™ satellite internet service, farmers will be able to address the skills and technical shortage through a much improved internet connection that allows them to take up classes online and download learning materials in order to upskill.
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