May 12, 2015
Like many agricultural commodities in Australia, dairy has an acute skilled labour shortage. Although the Australian dairy industry always gives precedence to employing Australian workers, enabling farmers to access skilled overseas workers is a positive way of addressing the gap when suitable domestic labour is not available.
The industry continues to assist farmers in gaining better access to overseas labour, through working to streamline the visa application processes for both farmers and workers. Further work is required by Government in this area to fully address the scope of this issue.
On 30 April 2015, the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) lodged its submission to the Senate Education and Employment committee’s review into the impact of Australia’s temporary work visa programs on Australia’s labour market and on the temporary work visa holders.
Issues such as the need for improved alignment of the Australian Qualifications Framework and the skill classifications used by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, as well as the extension of 417 and 462 visas from six to 12 months, were key recommendations put forward by the ADIC.
In the submission, the ADIC highlighted the industry’s strong commitment to attracting, developing and retaining a highly skilled domestic workforce through a range of initiatives, including the National Centre for Dairy Education (NCDE), which provides high quality education and training opportunities for people interested in developing a career in dairy.
The Australian dairy industry wholeheartedly supports fair and equal treatment of foreign workers. Recently, ABC’s investigative journalism programFour Cornersfeatured the mistreatment of migrant workers from Asia and Europe on a few poultry and horticulture farms in Australia. Such behaviour is not condoned by the ADIC and runs counter to the industry’s efforts to ensure that dairy farmers are responsible for their employment practices, including fair workplace relations and migration laws.
The Employment Starter Kit initiative (ESKi), which was developed by Dairy Australia in conjunction with Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF), is an example of this. The ESKi has been circulated to over 1,500 dairy farmers across Australia, assisting them in their understanding of Australia’s legal employment requirements, as well as offering information on how to improve working environments for both employees and employers.
Dec 22, 2014
The “three P’s” of our farming future according to Dr Cameron Archer AM, Principal of Tocal College, are: people, people, people.
Delivering the National Centre for Dairy Education Australia’s (NCDEA) first annual oration on 26 November 2014, Dr Archer underlined the importance of well-educated people in producing a respected product and underpinning the future of Australia’s dairy industry.
“A new technology, a genetic marker, a treatment or medicine, processing method, smart farm technology, breeding strategy, dietary strategy, feed supplements can be around the world in a flash. All of our competitors will have it. What they will do with it - will be up to their people,” Dr Archer said.
“Where we can really have the competitive advantage is through our people.”
Delivered to 90 members of the Australian dairy industry, including the Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) President and CEO, the oration’s themes reflected ADF’s belief that people are the industry’s most important on-farm asset.
Committed to developing policies and strategies to attract more highly skilled people to dairy, ADF’s People and Human Capacity Policy Advisory Group advocates policies to address Australian dairy’s skilled labour shortage, drive industry innovation and secure long-term prosperity.
NCDEA Manager – Educational Development and oration guest of honour, Sylvia Vagg, was recognised by the Australian dairy industry for her dedicated service to dairy education and training.
Dr Cameron Archer AM, Principal of Tocal College presenting as guest speaker at the NCDEA Oration.