0114 Australian Dairy Farmers

General information

Submitterʼs name
Australian Dairy Farmers
Submitted on behalf of
Professional body or industry association

About the submission

Is your organisation an Approved Sponsor for any of the following programs?
  • Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visa program
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa program
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Subclass 187) visa program
  • Labour agreements
No
Are you an Australian assessing authority for migration purposes?
No
Please select the industry your submission is in relation to. If required, you may select multiple industries.
Agriculture Forestry and Fishing
Do you have a particular regional interest? If required, you may select multiple regions.
National

Responses

1. Do you consider that occupations need to be added to or removed from the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)?

Added to MLTSSL

What occupations should be added to the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)?

Please also include occupations that you propose should be moved from the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) to the MLTSSL.

121313 Dairy Cattle Farmer

Please outline the evidence or data that would support these occupations being added to the MLTSSL.

A permanent skilled workforce is required to produce milk and operate dairy farms. Every dairy farm is a seven day per week operation. Dairy cows are usually milked twice a day in specially designed, electronically controlled milking sheds. Once milking is finished, a farmer will attend to other tasks on the farm such as fertilising pastures and forage crops. Overall more than 170 separate skills in 11 specialist areas are required.

Approximately two thirds of dairy farms find it difficult to source reliable skilled staff. This is despite the industry being able to demonstrate that it has a long-term future, its employment conditions are same or better than alternatives and there are career and business development prospects for successful candidates. The issue is there are an inadequate number of agriculture graduates coming through the system and local Australians are unskilled and/or not motivated to perform the required roles.

Skilled migrants have filled the skilled employment gap in the past. This has resulted in many dairy farm businesses adopting skilled migration as a long-term employment strategy. It is estimated that of the farms recruiting overseas workers around 32% plan to use the skilled migration program. In addition to wages and other employment conditions the key attraction has been a pathway to permanent residency. This is a main reason why skilled migrants choose Australian dairy farms as their work place over other countries.

Currently around 30% of dairy farms that have found it difficult to attract skilled labor have had negative farm business performance. Issues such as high staff turnover costs (direct costs of hiring, and other costs of decreased productivity for other employees as they take on extra work, orientation and development, workforce morale and business reputation) have reduced their capacity for investment in productivity or profitability enhancing initiatives on the farm or across the supply chain.

The third report in the ANZ insight series 'Greener Pastures: The Global Soft Commodity Opportunity for Australia and New Zealand' (October 2012) said Australia could add between $710 billion and $1.7 trillion in agricultural exports over the next four decades. This requires global demand forecasts to eventuate and the country to boost production volumes, shift to higher value products and address several industry challenges including resolving the skilled employment gap on farm.

2. Do you consider that occupations need to be added to or removed from the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)?

Removed from STSOL

What occupations should be removed from the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)?

121313 Dairy Cattle Farmer

Please outline the evidence or data that would support these occupations being removed from the STSOL.

As per the answers previously provided.

3. Do you consider that occupations need to be added to or removed from the Regional Occupation List (ROL)?

Added to ROL

What occupations should be added to the Regional Occupation List (ROL)?

121313 Dairy Cattle Farmer

Please outline the evidence or data that would support these occupations being added to the ROL.

As per previous answers.
Do you have any supporting material for your submission?
Yes (see attachments)

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Last modified on Monday 1 April 2019 [45281|135091]