Creating a Workforce | The South Australian Government’s strategic plan nominates as its target a Food Industry worth $20 billion by 2020. This target is ambitious but with growth in sectors such as wine and poultry there are strides being made in that direction.
There is little doubt that the 2016 and 2017 years have thrown up challenges to many farmers and that has had the effect of making the industry less appealing to newcomers.
Dairy has a part to play. The average age of a dairy farmer in South Australia is 56 years of age which is reflective of a long term truth. Part of the reason for this is that the succession systems in place tend to reflect that within families on the land parents tend to remain active farmers for longer thus distorting the average age profile.
The dairy industry will over the 2019-2024 years commit to restoring dairying as an occupation which is desirable and affords a lifestyle that is rewarding.
For every 100 cows there are two jobs created, one on farm and the other off farm. Recent increases in the presence of processors represents an encouraging indication for the future.
Nevertheless, the industry will focus on the recruitment and retention of people in the dairy field. Part of this process requires a repositioning of the message relating to working on dairy farms. The dairy industry is a rewarding industry in which to work.
The industry commits to working with training providers to make sure there are suitably qualified people in the field as well as in the service processing industries that are associated with the production of the dairy products.
The industry will attend to its reputation as a place to build a future for a worker and their family.
Currently there are about 850 people directly employed in the industry in South Australia with a similar number in related work. This work is generally well renumerated and conditions of work are generally very good.
Primary production currently accounts for one in five jobs in South Australia and it is the intent of the dairy industry to contribute to the employment numbers through the execution of this action plan.
Using the means available to the industry including levies and representative organisations dairy jobs in South Australia will be supported with a fo-cussed industry restoring its reputation as a good place to work, live and thrive.
2023 Student Compendium
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