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Abstract

The labour shortages which face the Australian agricultural sector could be described as having both acute and chronic aspects. Acute labour shortages can be related to short-term factors; examples include the impacts of extended drought and strong growth within the mining sector which has led to strong competition for labour and a decline in the available labour force. The potential emergence of chronic or long-lasting labour shortages related to a decline in new entrants seeking employment in the sector is a significant issue. While acute labour shortages have been a significant focus for the agricultural industries for many years, agricultural industries now need to invest in strategies to address chronic workforce shortages and emerging skills gaps. Raising awareness among young Australians about the career opportunities within the agricultural sector is seen as an increasingly important strategy. A significant challenge will be how to support these strategies over the long term.

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