An innovative approach is required to fill the skills gap in AG

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16 August 2022, AU: Increased confidence in the agriculture sector is resulting in a corresponding rise in employment opportunities with Nutrien Ag Solutions filling over 550 roles to date in 2022. 

Speaking ahead of the Australian Cotton Conference this week, Managing Director Rob Clayton says there’s a shortage of workers across all levels of the ag sector. 

“Across the board, Australia’s unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in 20 years. We’re seeing high levels of competition from not just the ag sector, but competing industries such as mining, manufacturing and banking means that we’re racing every other industry for the limited pool of talent.” 

Nutrien’s recruitment efforts are focused on addressing the changing skillsets required by the Australian agriculture industry. 

“We need a diversified workforce that includes people from outside the traditional ag sector. We should challenge ourselves to think broadly, looking at talent from other sectors with transferable skills, such as manufacturing, retail, chemistry and engineering” says Rob. 

In addition to recruiting new talent, Nutrien is focused on retaining and engaging its existing workforce and creating opportunities for career development and progression.  

“It makes sense to invest in our biggest asset, our people, and empower them to take on new challenges and grow in their field,” says Rob. 

“At Nutrien, we offer a range of career development and leadership programs, for emerging and existing leaders from all areas of the business.” 

“It’s also why we’ve taken a fresh approach with our Graduate Program. The traditional intake of agronomy graduates and livestock trainees remains core for us, but we are also looking at graduates for the myriad of other skills needed in agribusiness – IT, marketing, finance, data analysts and so on.” 

Graduate Agronomist Matt Macauley joined the Nutrien Ag Solutions Murgon Branch in January 2022. 

“Fantastic is the word that comes to mind when thinking of how to describe my experience as part of the Nutrien Ag Solutions Graduate Program. I cannot speak highly enough of the support I have received not just from my local branch, but from the greater Nutrien community,” says Matt. 

“As a Graduate Agronomist, one of my favourite parts of the role is working personally with growers to enhance the performance of their enterprises. We are forever adapting to new advancements in technologies, chemistries and plant breeding, as well as working alongside ever-changing environmental conditions.” 

Ahead of his first Cotton Conference, Matt is optimistic about the industry and the 2022-23 cotton season. 

“With high prices persisting this year, we are expecting to see an increased amount of cotton planted this season. I am excited to see what new technological developments will occur within the cotton industry in years to come and to be part of such a strong sector within agriculture.” 

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