Agribusiness Held Back by Skills Shortages

The skills shortage in Australia is understood to be impacting many agribusinesses, leading to challenges in attracting, selecting, and retaining employees. To gain insight into the current state of the candidate market in the Australian agricultural sector, as well as the implications of skills shortages on businesses, we conducted an online survey. This survey sought the participation of managers and owners of agribusinesses throughout Australia.

The survey findings reveal that a substantial portion of the respondents in the agribusiness sector are facing difficulties in the current candidate market. Approximately half of the respondents express their concerns about the limited supply of quality candidates, indicating that finding suitable talent is a challenge but a significant percentage of the respondents perceive the candidate market as extremely challenging. They highlight a severe shortage of talented individuals, suggesting that the pool of qualified candidates is considerably scarce. This perception emphasises the gravity of the situation, indicating that organisations in the agribusiness sector are struggling to find individuals with the necessary skills and expertise to meet their requirements.

The impact of the candidate market challenge on business operations is evident, as nearly half of the respondents report a noticeable impact. This implies that the lack of quality candidates is hindering their ability to effectively carry out their business activities. This impact could manifest in various ways, such as slower growth, decreased productivity, or compromised efficiency. However, it is worth noting that a significant number of respondents acknowledge that although the skills shortage has some effect on their enterprises, it can be overcome. This suggests that they recognise the issue and are actively seeking solutions to mitigate its impact. These respondents may be implementing strategies such as upskilling existing employees, investing in training programs, or exploring alternative recruitment channels to address the skills gap.

Nevertheless, the fact that half of the agribusiness sector is being held back from achieving desired business outcomes raises significant concerns. The inability to attract and retain quality candidates jeopardises the sector’s ability to reach the targeted growth levels established by the National Farmers Federation. This realisation underscores the urgent need for proactive measures to address the talent shortage issue, such as collaborating with educational institutions, promoting career opportunities in agriculture, and advocating for policies that support workforce development in the industry.

If you are interested in the results of this survey, please contact our office at

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Belinda Chung - Agribusiness Recruiting - Agricultural Appointments


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