Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing is an industry largely made up of workers employed in agribusiness. Most are farmers, living in regional Australia and managing their own properties. This is reflected in the high level of self-employment (around one in two workers, the highest percentage of any industry). Around 40% of workers are aged 55 years or older (again, the highest of any industry). While many industries across Australia have been negatively affected by COVID-19, Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing continues to present employment opportunities through seasonal work such as fruit picking.
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The need for formal qualifications is less common, with around half of this workforce having no post-school qualifications. Instead, practical skills and experience are more highly valued, with many of these skills being learnt on the job. Formal qualifications, though, can be gained through the VET sector. It is important to note that technologically advanced production systems (i.e. farm automation, artificial intelligence) are becoming more common and the employers who use such systems will require more highly skilled workers.
When looking for work in this industry, seasonal work is fairly common and may present short-term opportunities for job seekers of all ages.
Sources: ABS, Labour Force (seasonally adjusted and annual averages of original data); ABS, Characteristics of Employment; ABS, Education and Work; Australia Government Department of Agriculture, ABARES farm survey results 2018, September 2019.