New grant aims to research perceptions about rural careers

Federal agriculture minister David Littleproud.

Federal agriculture minister David Littleproud.

The Australian Government is providing $1.3 million towards new research that aims to bolster agriculture's capacity to attract and retain workers.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the farming sector offered diverse and rewarding careers but more research was needed to better understand its workforce.

"Human capital is an important theme of the government's Delivering Ag2030 plan which aims to achieve a $100 billion agricultural industry by 2030.

"This new research, to be undertaken by AgriFutures Australia will support agricultural employers and businesses to better target recruitment and retention of workers.

"Challenging outdated perceptions of modern agricultural work is critical to position agriculture as the modern, innovative and resilient industry it is today," Mr Littleproud said.

Managing Director of AgriFutures John Harvey said this latest cross-sectoral research would complement existing research, development and extension activities.

John Harvey, AgriFutures Australia.

John Harvey, AgriFutures Australia.

"We need to find out what are the community perceptions of agriculture careers, are there any attitudinal or structural barriers to working in agriculture, and what the 'pull factors' are that would make the agriculture sector a more attractive employment option," Mr Harvey said.

"The project will also investigate the experiences of agriculture workers, including understanding why they work in the sector, entry options and progression pathways.

"Ultimately the aim is for jobseekers to have a better understanding of modern agriculture, the workplace opportunities it offers and how to enter into the agricultural workforce."

Fast Facts:

  • The final report will provide insight into community perceptions of and experiences in agriculture occupations, including baseline of community perceptions of agriculture careers and case studies of working in agriculture.
  • This research program will leverage existing work currently undertaken by AgriFutures Australia and compliment farm surveys undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).
  • Project steering committee comprising DAWE, National Farmers' Federation, ABARES, National Careers Institute, SkillsOne, R&D corporation representatives and Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia (PIEFA)
  • The project is an AgATTRACT measure as part of the Human Capital measures in the Agriculture 2030 package.