Labour shortage in the agricultural industry
Immigrating to Australia as a farmer could be quite easy in the future. The Australian Government under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull apparently plans to introduce a specialist visa specifically designed for the agriculture sector. The backdrop to this is the looming labour shortage predicted to hit the agricultural industry over the next decade. The agricultural visa program currently under discussion was initiated by the National Farmers Federation, which predicts a deficit of 100,000 workers in agriculture as well as in its upstream and downstream industries for the next decade.
New visa class for farmers ?
A new visa program for the agricultural industry would help to address and go a long way towards solving the urgent problems currently faced by Australian farmers. Farms in Australia are on the one hand struggling with aging; the average age of farmers and workers in the agricultural industry is currently 56. On the other hand, the drastic cuts in Australia’s immigration policies have hit Australia’s farmers hard. Many occupational groups have been removed from the corresponding Occupations Lists for Australian Work visas, on which the agricultural industry is particularly dependent. Experts are warning that the labour shortage could be aggravated during the coming decades if it is not countered.
Prospects for the agricultural sector in Australia are excellent. A growing population, good production conditions, affordable land prices, and proximity to Asia’s growing sales markets make Australia an optimal manufacturing base for food and agricultural products.
The new visa classes for agricultural jobs should therefore also represent a good opportunity for many immigrants.