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Regional Job Seekers – Becoming More Employable


By Australia


The International Labour Organisation (ILO) defines unemployed people as those who are: not working one hour or more; and actively seeking work; and currently available for work. (Australian Bureau of Statistics ABS)  


The unemployment rate in regional areas of Australia currently sits at over 7% and much higher in some States, including Tasmania which is 9.3% at the time of writing.  The real unemployment rate may be unknown using the 1 hour criteria or by those not actively seeking work at the time statistics were taken.


The regional unemployment rate should not dissuade you in your job search.  There are things you can do to improve your employability in rural Australia. 


Firstly, review the skills you have and see if they match positions on offer or the type of role you are seeking.  Check out the positions available on and become familiar with the job descriptions. You’ll then become aware of the skills or training you need.


Include your current skills and training on your resume and ensure you mention them at interview.  Make sure these take into account your on farm skills gained on your families’ property. They may not be entirely relevant, but they will demonstrate your strong work ethic. Undertake some training or demonstrate your ongoing commitment to learning on your application.


Alternatively, find out the skill shortages in regional Australia. As a start, there are some Government incentives for companies and organisations to employ apprentices in rural and regional skill shortages.  Access the current agricultural skill shortages listing on the Australian Government Department of Employment web site.    


Volunteer for the type of position you’d like to work in.  This is very important for young job seekers who do not have experience.   If you only ever worked on the family farm, you may need a reference.  Volunteer on a neighbouring property or obtain a reference from your other volunteer employment.  A good reference will be vital when applying for paid employment.


How’s your attitude?  If unemployed for a considerable amount of time, you may not be feeling confident or enthusiastic.  Ensure during all your communications and at interview you display a positive, can do attitude.  Employers can teach anything, except attitude and they know it.


You may be seeking a practical or hands on role, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a professional resume.  Download one of the great free templates online or ask a friend or family member to help you out.


The most obvious suggestion may be to move to an area where work is located.  If you are feeling reluctant to relocate, think of it as a temporary step until you get something closer to home.  Ensure you secure your new role before moving. You must be happy to travel to an interview or if able, participate in an online or telephone interview. 


They are the skills and attitudes that enable employees to get along with their colleagues, to make critical decisions, solve problems, develop respect and ultimately become strong ambassadors for the organisation.  Employability or ‘soft skills’ are the foundation of your career building.  If an employer has the choice of candidates with employability skills and those without, they will favour those with soft skills.


Lastly, remember not all agricultural employment is located in remote areas of Australia, as many support services are located in larger cities.  By working on becoming more employable and keeping your mind open when considering job location, you’ll be well on track to securing your next agricultural employment role.

To access recent information on Australian job locations read – Where are the Australian Agriculture jobs? provide an enormous amount of resources to help you in your career.  Click here to access our previous newsletters.