How the Covid pandemic exposed deep cracks in the Australian farm labour model

How the Covid pandemic exposed deep cracks in the Australian farm labour model

Written by Kate Burke from the Guardian

Astute farm business owners and managers are recognising the need to invest in and develop their people – whether they are related or not


The Covid pandemic turned off the cheap labour tap. That has delivered a “come to Jesus” moment for employers of farm labour.

But people shortages are not a new thing in the bush. The underemployment dilemma has been building for a while. John Goldsmith, the former principal of Longerenong Agricultural College, said a decade ago: “It’s not a skills shortage, it’s a people shortage.”

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puppet

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
sw scotland
To get a work permit for a second year you need to do 3 months farm work which gives cheap labour. My daughter did it. Started off picking fruit and veg in the heat, week 3 was driving the minibus to drop them off, week 5 tractor spraying and then 6 weeks driving a 6 wheel Volvo shifting thousands of tons of soil. No tickets needed, great experience but rubbish pay until the driving job and paying to share a room with 5 others.
 

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