Art4agriculture was formed to fill a gaping hole in the agricultural landscape. That gaping hole is agriculture’s ability or rather inability to promote itself as an innovative, dynamic and exciting agrifood sector. A sector that our next generation best and brightest see as a career of choice
We knew from day one that we could not fill this gap alone and agriculture must adopt a cohesive, collaborative and whole of industry and Australia wide vision if we have any hope of creating a community which is engaged & informed with agriculture
So when in good faith the National Farmers Federation brought together a range of people from across the education, skills and training spectrum in March this year to discuss labour, education and skills in the agrifood sector we got very excited and headed to Canberra determined to play an active role. The aim of the forum was to identify the critical issues facing the sector and to move to address these issues through collective effort. NFF then facilitated a subsequent working group of the forum to further these actions and Art4agriculuture is a proud member of this working group.
Today the National Agribusiness Education, Skills and Labour Taskforce (NEST) met for the third time and proudly put out this press release. Art4agriculture invites every single Australian to join us in helping agriculture be the change it must have.
Sector working together to tackle education & labour shortages
Key players in the Australian agricultural and education sectors have come together to address critical issues around education, training, skills and labour in a bid to encourage more students to take up agricultural careers.
The National Agribusiness Education, Skills and Labour Taskforce, facilitated by the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), has today resolved to work together to identify issues critical to the success of the agricultural sector and to develop solutions to overcoming them.
NFF President Jock Laurie said the organisations that make up the National Agribusiness Education, Skills and Labour Taskforce have shown their commitment to tackling the ever-growing challenges of ensuring Australians are more aware of where their food and fibre comes from and attracting people to work in this exciting sector, at a meeting hosted by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW in Sydney today.
“The Taskforce recognises that the time for action on agricultural education is now. Today, the group has resolved to collaboratively address these issues, and take the agreed solutions and actions to key decision-makers on behalf of the wider agricultural sector,” Mr Laurie said.
“This is a very positive step forward for the agricultural sector and demonstrates that we can – and will – work together to overcome issues affecting agriculture in Australia.
“According to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations the agricultural industry has experienced the largest decline in employment over the last ten years – and predictions show that employment growth will be subdued over the next five.
“Industry estimations show that 100,000 jobs are currently available in agriculture, and we are all already all too familiar with the many challenges to rebuilding the workforce: our labour force is ageing, there are fewer young people entering our industry, drought has resulted in people leaving the industry, and other industries are competing for our workers.
“The purpose of the Taskforce is to work together to tackle these issues and ensure the agricultural industry rebuilds its image as a viable and attractive employment option,” Mr Laurie said.
The National Agribusiness Education, Skills and Labour Taskforce consists of representatives of the following organisations: National Farmers’ Federation; the Agribusiness Association of Australia Ltd; Ag Institute Australia; Australian Cane Farmers; AgriFood Skills Australia; Australian Council of Agricultural Societies; Australian Rural Leadership Foundation; Art4Agriculture; Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations; Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education; Future Farmers Network; Digital Farm School; The National Association of Agricultural Educators; Primary Industry Centre for Science Education; Primary Industries Education Foundation; SA Primary Industries Skills Council; Royal Agricultural Society of NSW; Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation; Rural Skills Australia; SkillsOne Television; The Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency; TAFE; Thomas Project Services; the Tractor & Machinery Association of Australia; University of Queensland, Victorian Farmers Federation Young Agribusiness Professionals and Australian Year of the Farmer.