Vocational training

Where are we? How did we come here?

Is your business short of staff? Is it difficult to find the right people? Are the people currently on board properly trained and qualified for the actual day-to-day tasks? Whatever your situation, it’s probably the system that makes solutions difficult. Facts and anecdotes suggest that the industry in Australia is understaffed and good people are hard to find. The pandemic aside, where are we and how did we get here?

First, an inventory. In the December 2021 report from Greenlife Industry Australia (GIA), Chairman Glenn Fenton said: “Labour shortages are a recurring issue raised by several businesses. This issue is not expected to be resolved until international borders are fully open. »

While Australia’s unemployment rate (April 2022) was at 3.9%, its lowest level in 50 years, it is expected to decline further to 3.5% in early 2023. This is largely attributed to the pandemic, as border closures and uncertainty caused some of our workforce to leave the country while “soaring” debt levels fueled a rapid rebound. Some GIA-recommended strategies to consider to help your business boost or at least maintain cash flow include increasing salaries or offering additional benefits to retain existing staff.

Prior to the pandemic, the Australian government asked, “Which occupations in your industry, sector or business are in demand and/or hard to fill? The GIA response named ‘Nurseryperson’ and ‘Nursery Assistant’. Levy-funded research (Nursery Industry Statistics 2017-18 to 2019-20 NY17008) indicated that skilled horticulturists make up 17% of the greenlife production workforce. The report also highlighted an aging workforce, with 85% of the workforce aged over 40 (40-59 49%) and (60+ 36%), the 15% remaining workforce under age 39.

It was concluded that the industry’s need to attract, train and retain childcare workers and assistants is paramount to the future of the industry.

Read the full article at www.hortjournal.com.au.