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18 April 2012
A new report has warned that Australia will need to bring in more immigrant workers, as many the country's farmers are about to retire in the next decade. The report by the Australian branch of KPMG, an international consultancy firm, stated that the average age of Australian farmers was 56 in 2011.
"There is a considerable risk that there will be a lack of experienced farmers to train younger farmers who will be critical to driving productivity improvements and adapting to challenges such as climate change, increased competition and an increase on focus on the environmental impacts of farming," said the report.
The report also predicts the retirement of many farmers will lead to farms being sold to international and corporate investors for their natural resources. According to KPMG, this will lead to further employment opportunities that Australia will struggle to fill.
The Australian government is currently working on investing in domestic workers with initiatives like the National Workforce Development Fund which is expected to introduce AU$558 million (£364 million) into the economy over the next four years.
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