The National Farmers Federation has launched a gap year program to match school leavers searching for work to farms needing staff.
CEO of the National Farmers Federation Tony Mahar said school leavers could find themselves in a range of farms around Australia for work.
“You could be working in the Kimberley, you could be working in Tasmania, you could be harvesting cotton, so many great jobs in the industry,” he said.
Andrew Smith from Myall River Agriculture said it’s a “great opportunity to kickstart a career in agriculture”.
“I think this is a great opportunity for people to get their boots on the ground and get a taste of that it’s like,” Mr Smith said.
The federal government is also sponsoring the program, AgCAREERSTART, offering award wages to those who secure a spot in the 12-month placement.
Jesse Holton is hoping to join the program, the young landscaper wants to swap the suburban gardens of Sydney for a much bigger paddock.
“I’ve just had an interest in finding a career in agriculture and I guess in the outback and the program seems like a great way to find a foot hold,” he said.
The program comes as labour shortages plague the agricultural industry, and the regional gap year will not only help young Australians gain experience but also help farmers with their workforce.
There are also options to take a gap year in the city.
Greenspace is based in Sydney’s CBD and is one of the countries largest vertical farms.
The farm is a new sustainable initiative where you can experience the process from farm to the plate.
“This is very very new anywhere in the world, so we have already really expert farmers who actually understand how to grow in these conditions,” Peter Fox from Greenspace said.