Akubras to Hard Hats: Easing Skills Shortages through Labour Harmonisation Strategies

National Institute of Labour Studies Inc.
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Bulletin of Labour, 2013, 39 (1), pp. 64 - 87
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
This article examines skill and labour shortages within rural agricultural industries in Western Australia. It draws on primary and secondary data, including 600 survey respondents in the sector. It is determined that there may be a shortage of farm workers during the busy seasons, while they are unemployed during the low seasons. Consequently, it is proposed that a human capability framework is utilised to encourage farm owners and (or) workers to consider the potential for labour-harmonisation (LH) strategies which would allow workers to transit between working on the land during the busy seasons and in mining during the low seasons. The outcomes of the study are considered in relation to indicators of precarious work illustrating that LH could enable an easing of labour shortages for both the farming and mining sectors, while providing benefits for the respective workers, employers, and the region in general.
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