Recruitment: Survey aimed at understanding ag career choices

Terry Sim, April 29, 2024

Latest listings on AgJobs Central recruitment page:

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  • Manager, levied industries (Honey Bees), Wagga Wagga NSW (Rimfire client)
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  • Road train driver – Camfield Station, NT (AA Co)
  • Gardener – Brunette Downs, NT (AA Co)

Click here to access these and other exciting meat and livestock supply chain jobs currently listed on AgJobs Central.

PARTICIPATION in a new online survey will help contribute to better understanding of career path choices in the field of agriculture.

The five minute survey has been designed and constructed by specialist recruiter, Agricultural Appointments, to better understand how secondary education shapes later agricultural careers. Click here to access the survey.

The survey is an extension of a recently published report on how education shapes agriculture careers, published in Agricultural Appointments’ latest 2024 Trend report.

“The survey is designed to understand career paths of professionals in the field of agriculture and study the relationship between talent shortage in Australian ag and education,” Agricultural Appointments’ Belinda Chung said.

“The target survey audience will be any ag professionals in Australia. We will produce a report of the findings once we’ve gathered a substantial number of responses,” she said..

The short five minute survey can be accessed here.

Students abandoning ag subject between grades 10 and 12

Unfortunately in Australia, education systems are falling short of attracting students and meeting skills required by industry, Agricultural Appointments recent report (click here to access) said.

Researchers Livingstone and Smith (2010) summarised the issue of declining agricultural education and training, and the number of students interested in these courses. They concluded that “there is an imminent agricultural education crisis, which is already apparent.”

They concluded that “the agricultural education sector is witnessing a largely unplanned and ad hoc rationalisation of providers across Australia, at a time when farmers and graziers need to be highly qualified to effectively manage complex businesses and environments.”

Among a host of important findings, the 2024 Agricultural Employment Trends report found that many secondary school students abandon agriculture as a subject after Year Ten.

Based on the NSW education system – the largest in Australia with about 1.25 million students – the report listed eight key reasons for the severe reduction in Year 12 students studying agriculture:

  • Whereas Year 10 agriculture is taught in most NSW schools, there were only about 300 high schools that teach agriculture beyond Year 10. This severely reduces the opportunity for students to select agriculture in Year 12
  • There is an acknowledged shortage of qualified agricultural science teachers
  • Student subject choices for the HSC are geared toward university entrance, therefore most students study the core subjects of Mathematics, Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics), plus History, English, Physical Education and Hospitality
  • There still seems to be a lack of understanding by students about the available careers in agriculture and agribusiness, and still a perception that it is production-based rather
  • than supply chain based (Graham, 2021)
  • There is continued urbanisation of the Australian population with the resultant ongoing disconnect from food production. Accordingly, it is not viewed as a “normal” career choice (Graham, 2021)
  • Glamorous highly paid jobs are not typically associated with agriculture
  • A general unawareness of the relevance of STEM-related skills in agriculture and agribusiness
  • Lack of understanding of the critical importance of agriculture in food security and the complex issues facing the sector into the future (e.g., carbon abatement, water usage, environmental programs, and land management etc).


Click here to access the full report.

Click here to access Agricultural Appointments’ short survey.


While dedicated jobs platforms like SEEK reach tens of millions of people worldwide every day, they take a broad-brush approach to recruitment. Beef Central’s recruitment platform, AgJobs Central, is highly-targeted at a large, dedicated, switched-on, national beef, sheep and grains industry audience, visiting our sites with high frequency. Here’s what a previous advertiser had to say.

Click here for details about how to lodge your jobs listings on AgJobs Central.



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