JMR with Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud

The Morrison Government is celebrating National Agriculture Day with delivery of a $5.1 million grants program helping recent school leavers start a career in agriculture in their gap year and kick off their personal Agventure.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said AgCAREERSTART would give recent school leavers opportunities, experience and skills to enter the agriculture sector and provide long-term pathways to agricultural careers.

“An agricultural gap year opens up a whole universe of amazing careers in this thriving, important sector, from livestock and cropping to technology, innovation and entrepreneurship,” Minister Littleproud said.

“This new pilot program, to be delivered by an industry consortium led by the National Farmers Federation, is a structured employment program to help young Australians to start a career in agriculture in their gap year.

“It’s about encouraging young Australians to give working in the agriculture sector a go and provide a taste of what a regional lifestyle can offer.”

“An agricultural gap year is a crucial pathway to attract young Australians to agriculture, creating long-term, meaningful careers.”

“People are our most important asset in agriculture, and we’re relying on them as we stride towards our ambitions Ag2030 goals of a $100 billion industry.”

Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said that this was an important step in providing young Australians with a pathway to one of the new emerging careers in agriculture.

“Programs like this will ensure that our youth can kick-start their career in agriculture, and continue living in regional communities as they progress their careers.

“It will also attract young Australians from urban areas to our region, give them work in the agriculture sector, and show them just how good we have it here in regional Victoria.”

National Farmers Federation Chief Executive Tony Mahar said the program would give school leavers training, support and experience in the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector.

“This is a great opportunity for school leavers to give agriculture a go through a supported program. Participants will be employed by the agricultural sector under award wages, be fully supported throughout the pilot, including relocation assistance, ongoing pastoral care and provided accredited training in operational skills important to safely working on an operational farm,” Mr Mahar said.

“Agriculture today offers diverse and rewarding career opportunities, and this program will give participants training and insights into the rewarding, challenging and varied experiences that work on farms can offer through a placement with participating farms.”

“AgCAREERSTART will be innovative in its delivery and design and will ensure participants have the basic training they need to stay safe on-farm, succeed in their placement and progress into further training or employment in the agriculture sector.

To find out more and register your interest, visit here.

Fast Facts:

  • The AgCAREERSTART pilot will start small with the first intake in early 2022 (up to 60 participants) with a view to grow the program in 2023, offering it to a larger, more diverse group of applicants, across a wider range of agricultural industries and locations across Australia.
  • The program will include social and educational events to build community between participants and integrate the program into broader agricultural and regional networks.
  • Nearly 90,000 farms employed around 319,000 workers or 3 per cent of the Australian workforce (ABS, as of August 2020).
  • Under the Ag2030 human capital theme the Australian Government is:
    • providing $25.2 million in new funding for AgATTRACT, to shift perceptions of modern agriculture and recognise its diverse career opportunities, including:
    • piloting AgCAREERSTART to give recent school leavers a way to experience working in agriculture
    • providing more opportunities for upskilling and career progression

19 November 2021