Upskilling Victoria’s dairy workforce

By Country News

Job seekers matched with Victorian dairy farmers looking for workers will receive specific training as part of the new Dairy Farm Induction Program.

The $715 000 program run by Dairy Australia and backed by the Victorian Government will help job seekers rapidly upskill and provide employers with training to induct new workers into their farm business.

Dairy Australia managing director David Nation said the program would fast track the dairy industry’s ability to upskill new workers and help make training more accessible.

“It is needed now to support the production of high-quality dairy products through the pandemic and to grow one of Victoria’s industry success stories,” Mr Nation said.

The program is part of the $50 million Agriculture Workforce Plan which seeks to provide job-ready workers to meet labour demands.

As part of the Dairy Farm Induction Program, an online learning package will be offered to help job seekers understand the culture of the workplace and important day-to-day tasks, such as machinery operation and handling stock.

Consultants will also be available to support farmers by providing training support on their farms for a smooth worker induction.

Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes said the program would help Victoria remain the dairy heartland of Australia.

“The need to find new workers to meet labour gaps in agriculture has thankfully been less than anticipated due to the strong position of our ag sector — but the effects of this pandemic will still be felt for a long time to come,” Ms Symes said.

She said the Victorian Government was working closely with the state’s agricultural sector to ensure its crucial supply chains could continue during the coronavirus pandemic.