Ag workforce classification update to build better data

3 May 2021

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has released a new discussion paper on the classification of agricultural occupations and is inviting industry feedback to help improve data on the agricultural workforce.

Deputy Secretary Rosemary Deininger said the department was working with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to review the official classification of agriculture occupations to better reflect modern agriculture.

“This is great opportunity to update the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) to give us a better picture of the agricultural workforce,” Ms Deininger said.

“Current classifications are largely based on analysis of occupations in the 2001 Census data.

“Now is the time for industry to have their say about how the standards should reflect current agriculture sector jobs.

“The agricultural workforce has changed significantly over recent decades as businesses innovate and respond to market and technology changes.

“We’re looking at improving how existing and emerging agriculture and related occupations are captured and how skill levels are attributed.

“The aim is to make data more relevant and allow data collection to be more responsive to changes in the labour market and the needs of stakeholders.

“This includes the trial of an experimental, rapid response approach for updates to the standards.

“We are excited to be a key participant in this more dynamic approach to updating the standards that underpin our national data infrastructure.

“For example, this data underpins the list of occupations eligible for skilled migration pathways.

“The department will consult with industry on the review and encourages industry input to ensure ANZSCO better reflects modern agriculture.

A ‘Have Your Say’ consulation has been launched for stakeholders to find out more and make a submission.