Agriculture Workforce Plan

The Agriculture Workforce Plan provides targeted support to agriculture, food processing and critical food supply chain businesses in rural, regional and outer metropolitan areas in Victoria, to meet their labour and operational needs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The plan assists agriculture, food processing and critical food supply chain businesses in rural, regional and outer metropolitan areas in Victoria with recruitment support and financial support for:

  • business adaptation
  • worker relocation and transport
  • worker induction and training
  • e-commerce support and training.

It is part of the Victorian Government’s $500 million Working for Victoria Fund, which helps people who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic find new opportunities. Businesses across the state can register their needs on the platform and access a talent pool of jobseekers.

Agriculture Victoria and Regional Development Victoria are working together to support vital industries such as horticulture, dairy, meat, food production, manufacturing, as well as transport and logistics services.

Download the factsheet:

Seasonal Workforce Support Package

The $17 million Seasonal Workforce Support Package is helping address seasonal workforce shortages brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The package includes:

  • more than $6 million to boost the supply of COVIDSafe accommodation for seasonal workers
  • new Seasonal Workforce Coordinators and Engagement Officers to link local industry groups, employers, labour hire agencies, local government and other stakeholders
  • $10 million from the Agriculture Workforce Plan to extend the Business Adaptation Grants, helping workplaces meet health and safety requirements and adapt to distancing changes imposed by the pandemic.

More information about accommodation support and Workforce Coordinators will be available on this website soon.

If you are a farmer or other employer in the agriculture sector, please register your workforce needs now on the Working for Victoria platform by the following the links below.

If you are a jobseeker, please register on the Working for Victoria platform to be alerted when opportunities in the agriculture sector appear by the following the links below.

Recruitment support

Alternatively, request an Agriculture Workforce Plan case manager to contact you to find out if you’re eligible for additional support or if you need urgent assistance. You can do this by submitting the 'Register for Agriculture Workforce Plan' form located at the bottom of this page.

Financial support

Worker relocation and transport

Worker relocation and transport support assists eligible businesses with worker accommodation and travel-to-work costs for vacant roles.

A daily travel-to-work allowance of up to $50 per employee and daily accommodation support of up to $200 per employee is available to businesses unable to fill eligible roles locally.

To register your interest in applying for a grant, please submit the 'Register for Agriculture Workforce Plan' form located at the bottom of this page, and a case manager will contact you directly.

Worker induction and re-training

Support is available to eligible employers inducting workers into new job roles and/or delivering re-training.

To register your interest in applying for a grant, please submit the 'Register for Agriculture Workforce Plan' form located at the bottom of this page, and a case manager will contact you directly.

Business adaptation

Business adaptation support is designed to assist eligible businesses to meet the costs of adapting workplaces to comply health, safety and social distancing requirements or adapting to required business changes imposed as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Under the program, individual grants between $10,000 and $300,000 will support eligible businesses cover up to 50 per cent of the cost of necessary adaptations to their workplaces.

Adaptations may include changes to transport used to take employees to and from work to ensure physical distancing, alternations to employer-supplied accommodation, or the establishment of additional washrooms and other facilities.

Grants can also be used to purchase machinery or appliances needed to adapt businesses in order to maintain operations during the pandemic.

To register your interest in applying for a grant, please submit the 'Register for Agriculture Workforce Plan' form located at the bottom of this page, and a case manager will contact you directly.

E-commerce and New Marketplace Transition Package

The Victorian Government is providing $1.5 million to help Victorian farmers and producers transition to online markets and build business resilience and skills, as part of our commitment to support the sector during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Under the E-commerce and New Marketplace Transition Package, online farmers’ markets or marketplaces selling Victorian agricultural goods and produce will be able to apply for grants to help pay the costs of:

  • onboarding, online marketing and registration fees
  • freight and logistics
  • delivery fees, and
  • online marketing support.

Supporting producers and farmers to use online markets and marketplaces will make it easier and cheaper for Victorian consumers to support local farmers.

A training program for farmers and producers will be provided as part of the package.

Key online farmers’ markets and marketplaces will be contacted directly by the department about the package, but if you would like more information about support, please email: agricultureworkforceplan@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Frequently asked questions

What businesses are eligible?

The Agriculture Workforce Plan provides additional support to agriculture, food processing and critical food supply chain businesses based in regional Victoria.

The types of industries we support are horticulture, dairy, meat, food production, manufacturing, as well as transport and logistics services.

If you are unsure whether your business is eligible for additional support, contact us and a case manager will be in touch. You can do this by submitting the 'Register for Agriculture Workforce Plan' form located at the bottom of this page.

We are interested in working with both individual businesses and labour hire firms.

How do I get support for my business?

If you want further information or are interested in applying for a Worker Relocation and Transport, Worker Induction and Re-Training or Business Adaptation grant, register your details and a case manager will contact you directly.

What support will be available to my business?

This program matches local people to local jobs where possible. In instances where this is not possible, support for transport, accommodation and induction training cost is available for eligible businesses.

To learn more about the support that could be available to your business submitting the 'Register for Agriculture Workforce Plan' form located at the bottom of this page.

Download the factsheet:

Dairy Farm Induction Program

Pathways for people in dairy

The $50 million Agriculture Workforce Plan seeks to support Victoria’s agricultural industries and provide job-ready workers to meet labour demands.

The Pathway for People in Dairy, delivered by Dairy Australia, is helping job-seekers to successfully develop their careers with dairy farm employers.

This initiative provides a new online experience for job-seekers to explore and prepare for a career in dairy farming. For new entrants, it provides an opportunity to develop knowledge and skills for essential on-farm tasks.

The program equips employers with new web-based tools to safely, effectively and swiftly onboard new staff and provide high-quality training for their ongoing capability development.

This will help dairy farm businesses continue to operate effectively during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and into the future.

For more information, or to register interest in the Dairy Farm Induction Program, visit People in dairy on the Dairy Australia website.

Register for Agriculture Workforce Plan

The Agriculture Workforce Plan provides targeted support to agriculture, food processing and critical food supply chain businesses to meet their labour and operational needs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

If you have urgent business needs or would like to talk to someone about targeted support for your business, provide your details and a case manager will contact you directly.

You can also email your details to agricultureworkforceplan@ecodev.vic.gov.au.

Page last updated: 18 Sep 2020