New plans unveiled to address shortage of workers in dairy sector
The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed has announced a new action plan which aims to address a series of labour and human capital issues facing the dairy sector.
It comes following a recent report which outlined the need for approximately 6,000 new entrants over the next decade to replace retirees and meet the requirements of expanding herds.
That report was clear that the sector would face a severe shortage of labour if measures were not put in place to meet this level of demand.
Among the measures outlined in the ‘People in Dairy Action Plan’ announced today are a roll out nationwide of an initiative which targets individuals on the live register, women in agriculture and dry stock farmers as perspective dairy farm workers.
Enhanced efforts at recruiting labour from within the European Economic Area (EEA)where employment permits are not required is planned as well as the encouragement and facilitation of workers from New Zealand to work in Ireland for one or more periods.
The plan also highlights that one of the biggest factors in attracting and retaining people is that dairy farms must be desirable places to work.
It says information and training needs to be made available to farmers in relation to good HR practice and legal requirements, good management practices and having the right facilities for employees.
Further a new training and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme for dairy farmers and employees needs to be developed and made widely available.