With the arrival of COVID-19, subsequent social distancing and self-isolation, the demand for meat and perishables hit an unprecedented high during March and April. This huge increase in consumer shopping saw farmers working harder than ever to meet these demands for quality produce. This rise in demand resulted in many businesses hiring more staff to meet immediate production needs while still laying the groundwork for winter crops.
For many, the agriculture industry provides an excellent platform for people to utilise existing skills that are transferrable across a range of sectors. It can be a win-win situation where people find rewarding new jobs and business operators in rural and regional Australia get the experience and knowledge from a wider pool of candidates who may not have previously considered agriculture as a career industry.
Casey Brown, Managing Director, Agri Labour Australia, says, ‘Agriculture has many facets. It’s not just about farming cattle and crops – there are diversity, sociability and world-leading technology applied throughout the industry that makes for solid job prospects. One area is Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) – This is now a huge part of agriculture and roles can be anything from business development managers and WHS officers right through to packhouse supervisors, mechanics and data analysts. This is just one sector – there really are endless opportunities across all fields of agriculture.’
There’s also plenty for those who don’t have a trade or key set of skills, with interesting roles happening all over Australia. People can find work anywhere from the Northern Territory all the way down to Tasmania, with many business farm owners and operators open to giving people the chance to prove themselves if they’re willing and show commitment to the job.
Another key facet of agriculture is the lifestyle associated with living in rural and regional areas. Having experienced extremely difficult times for several years with record-breaking droughts and bushfires, these communities play a vital role in supporting all our farmers and the many people who come to work for a season or long term.
The inclusiveness, community events and lifestyle that country living offers is going to become even more attractive as COVID-19 abates and people focus more on the health and wellbeing of themselves and their families.