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Farmers plea for workers amid ‘chronic skills shortage’

Steve Mills
Article image for Farmers plea for workers amid ‘chronic skills shortage’

Farmers say there is a “chronic skill shortage” in WA’s grain industry due to the international borders being closed.

A central Wheatbelt farmer is calling on pilots to help with the upcoming crop sewing period.

Sean Powell told 6PR’s Steve Mills pilots have the skills needed to operate heavy machinery.

“There skills are transferable, pilots are used to systems, checklists and processes, and we use similar navigation systems to track the machines up and down paddocks,” he said.

“It comes down to a competent person, and somebody who is interested in doing something different.”

WA Farmers grain industry president, Mic Fels, said staff are needed to ensure farmers don’t become overworked.

“We have gone from an acute skills shortage last year to a chronic skill shortage now,” he said.

“The people who are here are working hard and stressing more and that’s just not sustainable.”

He wants to see a travel bubble with New Zealand introduced to combat the skill shortage.

“There farming season is conveniently out of sync with ours.”

People can search for jobs in WA’s grain industry here.

Click play to hear the full interview. 

(Photo: iStock by Getty Images.) 

Steve Mills
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