By CAITLIN CROWLEY
A SOPHISTICATED online job matching platform for Queensland’s agricultural industry was launched at Parliament House last night in a bid to help solve ongoing workforce shortages plaguing the sector.
The Ag Jobs Queensland site was developed by the Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) after feedback from frustrated farmers across the state that attracting a skilled workforce remains one of the critical challenges facing their enterprises.
“The entire agricultural sector and supply chain are feeling the impact of the workforce shortage and it is placing downward pressure on productivity, efficiencies and profitability and upward pressure on the cost of production,” QFF CEO Jo Sheppard said.
The platform allows businesses to advertise available positions and create an employer profile to help showcase what they can offer potential staff.
Jobseekers can also upload their details to the system to be considered for current and future roles and search vacancies by company name, industry and location.
Fleming’s Nurseries Queensland was the first employer to sign on to Ag Jobs Queensland after finding it increasingly difficult to fill vacancies across its operations.
“We are struggling to find suitable candidates for our positions – we know our farmers are struggling, we know our suppliers are struggling,” Nursery Manager Jess Fleming told the Caller.
“You look through the candidates and half of them are overseas and requiring sponsorship.
“People have billboards on the side of the road saying that they’re hiring. Businesses are having to find new ways of finding people, and then how do we retain our employees as well?”
Fleming said the business had been advertising more over the last six months and that she hoped the Ag Jobs website would be very targeted to those who “know what they’re getting into”.
“That’s what I thought would be really good about it – if they’re looking on an ag jobs website, they’re probably going to have a passion for working in that industry,” she said.
There are almost 1000 positions listed on the site currently, with almost 150 of those within 100kms of Toowoomba.
Roles range from working directly with livestock, crops or machinery, to accounting, sales and marketing.
“It is an exciting time to work in the Queensland agricultural sector,” Jo Sheppard said.
“Businesses are innovating to meet opportunities and challenges and are seeking talent to fill a diversity of roles within their operations, so no matter where your interests lie, there will no doubt be a career pathway for you in Queensland agriculture.
“So, if you are an employer seeking to fill a role or a prospective employee wanting to work in Queensland agriculture, register on the platform now.”