Skilled and motivated workforce

Attracting and retaining employees is strongly linked to workplace health and safety.

Engaged employees will drive industry success

Our people are key drivers of productivity and essential to the dairy industry’s success. To maintain or grow dairying therefore requires an understanding of how well dairying attracts, retains and develops its workforce. From single person managers or owners to large corporate farms and manufacturers, the ability to effectively engage people to operate the farm business and dairy manufacturing facilities is critical.

Recent workforce related issues identified by farmers include the increasing complexity of industrial relations and safety regulation, as well as the need to improve access to information and resources to support the effective management of people.

Further, issues for the dairy industry such as generational demographics and regional differences create challenges and opportunities. Attracting and retaining employees is also strongly linked to workplace wellbeing, health and safety.

It is expected that labour issues within the dairy supply chain will become increasingly complex and gain a higher profile for both the industry and the community. We need to improve our understanding of the interconnectedness of these issues as well as the needs and expectations of our people.

It is important to not only attract and develop skilled people in the dairy industry, but to also develop the capacity of the essential support services network to provide quality advice to dairy businesses. We aim to bring all of these groups together by facilitating the collective action of farmers, manufacturers, service providers and relevant training and employment providers to develop local solutions to local workforce planning challenges.

Sustainable Development Goals

The Australian dairy industry is guided by a number of international frameworks focused on ensuring decent work practices. We look to the International Labour Organisation Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and UN Sustainable Development Goal #8:

8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value.

8.8 Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment.