Dairy tackles farm workforce shortage

One in four dairy farmers are unable to find labour or access the skills they need on farm according to a survey by Dairy Australia – an issue compounded by COVID-19 and the nationwide skills shortage across a range of sectors beyond agriculture.

“Some 22% of dairy farmers were also unable to fill vacant positions within three months with 40% losing at least one or more workers,” said Dairy Australia’s General Manager, Regional Services, Verity Ingham.

To help tackle the problem, Dairy Australia is launching a new national marketing campaign to promote the benefits of working in dairy farming and encouraging Australians to explore a job in dairy.

Featuring dairy ambassador, Jonathan Brown and seven dairy farmers, the campaign showcases why working in dairy matters, highlighting factors that have shown to motivate people to consider a job in dairy.

These factors include working with animals, working outdoors, career progression, job variety and training, job security and the contribution Australian dairy makes to the community through production of a highly nutritious food.

Launched on Saturday 24 September, the workforce attraction campaign will be delivered into dairying regions across TV, YouTube, radio, social media and local newspapers and encourage jobseekers to visit Dairy jobs matter for more information and where to go to find job opportunities in their region.

Farmers will be encouraged to take advantage of an increased interest in jobs on dairy farms, and tap into information on attracting and retaining new workers.

Ms Ingham said the aim of the campaign is to bring people into the industry – and keep them.

“Competition for jobseekers in regional areas is fierce, so finding good, reliable people is a priority for dairy farmers. Keeping them is just as important.

“We need workers on our farms to keep the milk flowing, the cheese on tables, the yoghurt in our lunchboxes and we really are looking for people who want job security, who like working with and caring for animals; people who are looking for variety, flexibility in their work life or wanting career progression.”

Dedicated Dairy Australia staff in dairy regions will also provide employment support and will help connect farmers seeking workers with jobseeker networks.

“We’ll be working with recruitment agencies and local networks to attract, connect and support jobseekers as they come into the industry.

“Promoting career opportunities in dairy with school students, universities and Tafes will also be key to the success of this campaign.

“For dairy farmers, there is also employment resources and information on retaining great people available – I encourage farmers to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Ms Ingham.

Dairy farmers can contact their Dairy Australia regional team or visit People, Skills and Capability for more information.

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