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Labour and skills shortages in the agro-food sector

Michael Ryan

No 189, OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers from OECD Publishing

Abstract: Labour and skills shortages are a major concern in the agro-food sector across OECD countries. This challenge is compounded by the relatively small, and declining, contribution of agriculture to GDP, and the negative public perception of the sector with relatively low wages and limited career prospects. This paper reviews policies that have the potential to address labour and skills shortages in the agro-food sector including labour market, education and training, social protection policies, immigration, as well as agricultural specific policies. Many of the policy levers used to address the agro-food labour challenge lie outside the sector and involve finding the right policy mix that tends to be country specific. Furthermore, some issues can be addressed by closer public and private collaboration such as improving working conditions, increasing investment in agricultural education and training of young entrants to the sector. Greater attention also needs to be given to improving the image of agriculture as a career choice, promoting a more diverse workforce, improving the alignment of skills to the needs of the sector, promoting continuous learning, and strengthening national advisory services.

Keywords: Agricultural policy; Agriculture (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J21 J24 Q10 Q18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023-01-17
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-lma
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