Young people can fill gaps

Applications for farmer hosts and participants are now open for the NFF’s AgCAREERSTART program.

The National Farmers’ Federation is once again on the hunt for the next generation of agriculture leaders to apply for the AgCAREERSTART 12-month gap year program.

NFF chief executive officer Tony Mahar said the program had seen school leavers learn new skills while assisting farmers fill critical labour gaps.

“The impact of Australia’s current labour shortage is already being felt by farmers across the country, with an estimated $22 million in crop losses having already been reported,” Mr Mahar said.

“The AgCAREERSTART program is a new way of building a skilled workforce to complement the in-demand skills farmers need and to help innovate industry practices.

“The partnerships forged in round one of AgCAREERSTART have been a huge success for farmers and students alike, with students learning about farm data capture and mapping and operating state-of-the-art machinery.

“Many of the participants are moving out of home for the first time and learning essential life skills such as cooking, communication and problem-solving skills, as well as undertaking training that will help in their future careers such as obtaining a first aid certificate, truck licence or forklift ticket.”

Through AgCAREERSTART, participants are employed on award wages on qualified farms for up to 12 months.

Participants receive safety training and relocation assistance and have the opportunity to join the farm after their completion of the program.

Emma Pretorius is currently completing the AgCAREERSTART program on a dairy farm in Meander, Tasmania with host farmers Brian and Michele Lawrence.

She said her time on Janefield Dairy had presented her with a range of new and interesting challenges.

“Ranging from milking early in the mornings to feeding out in the afternoons, every task I’ve been given has provided me with lifelong skills and values,” Emma said.

“I can honestly say the past few months have been the most engaging and interesting months of my life and I’m overly excited for more to come.”

Applications for both farmer hosts and participants are now open.

For more information and to register your interest, visit: