National Farmers' Federation

New survey to gauge farm sector's workforce issues

Today the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is launching its new Farm Workforce Survey, asking farmers to report on their ability to meet their businesses’ labour requirements. NFF President Fiona Simson said the evidence indicated that farmers all too often faced difficulties recruiting workers – difficulties that could see them fail to meet critical deadlines and for produce to go unpicked and left to rot in paddock. “However, currently it is difficult, without statistical evidence, to quantify the extent of farmers’ labour woes,” Ms Simson said. “This survey aims to collect data that will indicate the size of the problem and its impact on both individual farm businesses and the sector more generally. “The survey also asks how they attempt to address the problem. “For example, how farmers use the various government schemes designed to connect farmers with workers, by and large to fulfil short term labour requirements. “Through the survey we aim to gauge farmers’ level of awareness of, and attitude towards, such programs and their ‘real world’ effectiveness.” Ms Simson is encouraging farmers, across all industries, to take part in the short survey. “The survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete and the responses will be critical in shaping the NFF’s farm workforce policies and informing our advocacy to Government.” Ms Simson said the NFF had a vision for agriculture to a $100 billion industry by 2030. “To realise this objective we must address a number of challenges before the sector, including attracting enough workers with the requisite skills. “This will require a multi-pronged approach, made up of boosting the number of Australians pursuing a career in agriculture and leveraging the opportunity presented by seasonal workers and working holiday makers.” The survey is available here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FarmWorkforce and is open until midnight on 28 February 2017.

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