ANZSCO update to Agricultural occupation groups

23 November 2021
  • Update to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) to reflect innovative agricultural workforce of today
  • More contemporary, relevant, and more responsive to needs of agricultural businesses
  • Improved data to better deliver government programs and services

An update to the agricultural occupation classifications will benefit agricultural workforce, businesses, and industry by improving key data underpinning government programs and services.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the ANZSCO update, developed in partnership with the Australian Bureau of Statistics, would bring a more targeted approach to meet agricultural workforce demands.

“ANZSCO is the skill-based classification used to categorise occupations in key government data,” Minister Littleproud said.

“This data will inform and support government policy and programs from vocational education and training to skilled migration.

“This is the first major update to agriculture occupation definitions in 20 years, and it will enable the agricultural sector to access international expertise and improve the quality of information on the breadth and diversity of careers found across the industry.

“It will also support better access to government programs and services across the agricultural sector.

“My department consulted with over 200 industry stakeholders and the update adopts over 100 recommended changes across 20 ANZSCO professional categories.”

Many in the agriculture sector have strongly endorsed the ANZSCO changes to better reflect their industries.

Australian Dairy Farmers CEO David Inall said the old ANZSCO framework did not recognise a number of skilled occupations in the dairy industry.
“Dairy is a skilled industry and we welcome recognition of modern dairy farm roles,” Mr Inall said.

“Taking into account the hierarchy of skill levels in dairy farm occupations will enable better recognition of a wide range of dairy occupations and assist in training and recruitment.”

Australian Pork Limited Chief Executive Officer Margo Andrae said the Australian pork industry faces significant difficulties attracting and retaining labour.

“We know the diversity of employment opportunities for skilled and semi-skilled workers in the industry. But communicating this to people who are hesitant about relocating to rural and regional areas, and gaining access to skilled migrant workers, is a challenge”, Ms Andrae said.

“This update ensures ANZSCO is fit for purpose and accurately reflects the pork industry and the increasingly technical and integrated nature of the pork supply chain. This will help us work with government to better describe our industry and its people and build greater capability as a result.”

Australian Fresh Produce Alliance Chief Executive Officer Michael Rogers said that ANZSCO had not kept pace with the growth of the horticulture industry.

“Industry growth is creating a big increase in middle management roles in horticulture, which had not been appropriately reflected in ANZSCO classifications,” Mr Rogers said.

“These supervisory roles are vital to ongoing industry growth, and we welcome their inclusion within ANZSCO, which will assist with support for and attraction of talented workers to these key roles.”

Fast Facts:

  • ANZSCO Review was recommended in the National Agricultural Workforce Strategy and is funded through the Australia Government’s AgATTRACT initiative.
  • Over 200 Industry stakeholders were engaged through the DAWE led consultation process including those from horticulture, agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture.
  • ANZSCO underpins a range of funding and migration policy settings.
  • The update will support agrifood producers with improved access to a modern agricultural workforce through training, education, and skilled migration pathways.