Queensland Agriculture Industry Workforce Plan

To address workforce issues experienced in the agriculture industry, the Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) in partnership with Jobs Queensland will deliver a Queensland Agriculture Industry Workforce Plan, to be completed by early 2022. The five-year plan will respond to the major issues reported by the industry while anticipating future workforce demand. 

The Rural Jobs and Skills Alliance (RJSA) is our industry advisory group, providing expertise, strategic advice and access to networks to inform and guide the project. The team will research, identify and quantify the most pressing statewide workforce issues facing agriculture over the next three to five years. 

Where are we up to?

The Queensland Agriculture Industry Workforce Plan 2022-2026 reflects the findings from robust research and consultation processes. It will be publicly available in early 2022.

Four priority areas, based on gross value of production and employment, were identified: grazing (beef cattle and grains), horticulture (fruit and nuts, vegetables, and nurseries), crops (sugar and cotton) and emerging (aquaculture).


Four action areas provide focus for the planning process:

  • Adaptability and business capability – developing entrepreneurship and business capability for innovation and adaptation to change
  • Workforce attraction and diversity – developing a diverse and inclusive future agriculture workforce
  • Workforce retention – developing agriculture careers and opportunities and becoming employers of choice
  • Workforce skilling – developing future workforce skills in agriculture

Stakeholder consultations for the workforce planning have now closed. From August to November, QFF presented a consultation program that included regional workshops, online consultations, focus groups, interviews and an online survey. During this time, 145 people directly participated in the consultations.

  • Why a workforce plan?

    Future growth and market opportunities for Queensland agriculture are dependent on a highly trained and skilled workforce. The industry employs over 90,000 people, and commonly experiences difficulties in attracting and retaining skilled workers. As the industry continues to modernise, a skilled and appropriately trained workforce, prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century, is critical for the industry to remain competitive and innovative.

    A workforce plan is a plan for the future. It will drive action for building the capability of agriculture businesses and their workforce for a contemporary, competitive and adaptable industry. The plan will strategically respond to the many issues that the agriculture industry has reported:

    • Managing workforce shortages
    • Developing our workforce and adapting to changing skilling and knowledge requirements
    • Attracting and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce
    • Up-skilling workers to respond to innovation and technology opportunities
    • Engaging with education and training sectors to ensure that their offering meet sector needs
    • Ensuring regulatory compliance in an increasingly complex environment
    • Identifying and responding to emerging challenges
  • What is workforce planning?

    “Having the right people, in the right place, with the right capabilities at the right time.”

    Workforce planning is a process where understanding of the current workforce and research into the future workforce identifies the gaps between what we have today and what we need in five years. It is a future focused approach that lifts thinking out of immediate succession, recruitment and retention needs to preparing strategies to meet the workforce needs for the industry which will become critical in the next few years by:

    • Identifying future business directions and workforce needs;
    • Analysing and understanding the make-up of the current workforce (through demographic staff profiling, SWOT analysis, environmental scanning etc.);
    • Determining the necessary skills, capabilities and competencies required to achieve strategic and operational goals in the future; and
    • Developing policies and strategies that will assist in achieving these goals.

    The research undertaken during this project will point us towards the critical workforce risks that the plan will address.


Please contact the workforce planning team for more information

(07) 3837 4720



This Agriculture Workforce Plan Project is proudly supported and funded by the Queensland Government.

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