As many farmers in Canowindra know, getting good farm workers is a difficult thing. COVID restrictions have led to a death of approximately 26,000 seasonal workers. Interest in agriculture and farming is growing, however, with the number of applications to study agriculture at Australian universities in 2021 increasing by 16 per cent on 2020 figures.
Preliminary data from the Tertiary Admissions Centres shows ap-plications to study agriculture courses have increased from 2,537 in January 2020 to nearly 3,000 in January 2021.
Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education Andrew Gee said the increase in applications for agriculture degrees was a positive sign for Australia’s COVID recovery. “Despite the devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, drought and the COVID-19 pandemic, our agricultural industry continues to thrive,” Minister Gee said. “Soon to be worth $100 billion per year, Australia’s agricultural industry is critical to our economic recovery, which is why it’s fantastic to see so many young Australians taking an interest in this vital field.”
“Australia’s agriculture industry of tomorrow will need highly skilled and experienced graduates who understand best practice regional farming – and that all starts at university.”
“The changes implemented through the Morrison-McCormack Government’s JobReady Graduates reforms, which came into effect this year, have lowered the cost of studying in areas of national employment priority such as agriculture.”
“These changes are encouraging more Australians to consider a promising career in agriculture. Our agricultural industry employs more than 250,000 people and as the sector continues grow, so do the job opportunities for our future agriculture graduates.”
Under the JobReady Graduates reforms, Australian students will now pay $3,950 to study agriculture, which is a 59 per cent reduction in the cost in 2020.