Future demand for farmers and farm managers could accelerate opportunities for the growth of Australia's cotton industry.
Commenting on the latest future job openings research report from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), Cotton Australia General Manager Michael Murray says that, as one of the fastest-expanding sectors in Australian agriculture, the cotton industry could benefit from growth in job opportunities.
The NCVER report forecasts growth in the total number of job openings between 2017 and 2024. The second highest number of job openings - at 71,300 per year or 570,600 in total - would be for managers. Within that sector, farmers and farm managers rated second-highest - behind construction, distribution and production managers - with likely demand for 10,100 per year (80,900 total) over the period.
"Anecdotal evidence has for some time indicated that job opportunities within the cotton industry would grow as the industry has expanded, particularly in the NSW southern valleys," Mr Murray says.
"An ageing farm leadership demographic combined with the expansion of the sector as a whole will create fantastic opportunities for people to enter the cotton industry."
"It is exciting to contemplate the near future of Australia's cotton industry as one of growth and opportunity, particularly for young people. Our sector has traditionally been open to outside expertise, and we would welcome some fresh faces who could bring their own experience into the mix."
"Cotton Australia, and other organisations in the industry, runs many programs designed to foster young leaders and grow the number of people entering the cotton workforce."
"Cotton Australia supports exciting programs such as Future Cotton Leaders, the Australian Rural Leadership Program, Young Farming Champions and Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarships, which grow the future leadership potential of young individuals and, thus, benefit the industry over the long term."
"In addition, Cotton Australia supports training and workforce programs. These include Cotton Gap, which encourages school-leavers to spend their gap year in the cotton industry, and AgSkilled, a NSW Government initiative which funds training programs for the cotton and grains industries in order to boost the skills of the agriculture workforce."
Cotton Australia is the peak representative body for Australia’s cotton growing industry.