Overseas adventurers looking for work on WA farms

28 Aug, 2010 04:00 AM
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 Agriventure trainee Anne Neilsen from Denmark drove the header at Roger and Angela Dring�s property at Carnamah in 2008. Agriventure is seeking farms for 17 workers like Anne for placement in this year's program.
Agriventure trainee Anne Neilsen from Denmark drove the header at Roger and Angela Dring�s property at Carnamah in 2008. Agriventure is seeking farms for 17 workers like Anne for placement in this year's program.

AUSTRALIAN agriculture may be facing a current labour shortage but one proven supply source is having trouble finding enough farms to place its workers.

The local branch of Agriventure Australia, a division of the International Agricultural Exchange Association (IAEA), requires farms for immediate placement of its latest batch of recruits.

IAEA state chairwoman Angela Dring, Carnamah, said every September and April the organisation had young workers from overseas seeking work on Australian farms.

Ms Dring said she wanted to hear from anyone who had a farm or was involved in the agricultural industry, who might be interested in taking on a worker for a few months.

Agriventure has 17 international workers looking for a suitable host family.

The placement periods range from 6-12 months with trainees coming from a range of backgrounds including Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, France and Germany.

The trainees offer their host family a range of skills and experience, including machinery, sheep, horses, beef cattle, cropping and dairy.

Ms Dring said the workers could help with not only farm production and maintenance but also odd jobs, housework, child minding and other tasks "to help take the pressure off".

"I am sure there must be some busy farming families out there who could use some help both domestically and on the land," Ms Dring said.

"We have had five girls at our place over the last six years and our life has been greatly enriched from the experience."

Meanwhile, the Australian Farm Institute released a report last week saying Australian agriculture faced a current labour shortage of at least 96,000 full-time workers and 10,000 part-time workers.

The report also said future projections of labour supply and demand for the sector showed no signs of reducing this shortage over the next decade unless action was taken on a number of fronts.

The AFI's key finding was from its new research report Towards a Better Understanding of Current and Future Human Resource Needs of Australian Agriculture.

"The research concluded that if the sector continues on a business-as-usual course over the next decade, the current shortage of available labour will continue to worsen, driving up labour costs and limiting future growth in the sector," the AFI said.

"The research, jointly funded by Horticulture Australia Limited, AgriFood Skills Australia and the Institute, involved a detailed examination of labour demand and supply statistics for the agriculture sector, an industry survey, and the development of future labour and demand supply scenarios over the next decade."

Over the past 40 years, the Agriventure exchange program has seen 115 WA farming families play host to trainees from all around the world.

The exchange program also offers young Western Australians the opportunity to travel abroad and learn about life and farming in other parts of the world.

Since 1989, 230 Western Australians have travelled the world to explore agriculture and seek out adventure through the unique experience but numbers have been falling in recent times.

Ms Dring can be contacted on 9951 1036 or 9951 1091 during the day.

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