11 Mar 2022

Growing the future

Enhancing the attractiveness of agricultural work

Mattia Di Salvo / Doina Postica / Nina Lopez-Uroz / Sara Baiocco

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Agriculture is vitally important to the EU as it ensures food security for all EU residents. It also has a positive impact on the environment and on the social cohesion of rural areas. This sector differs from other economic sectors because by its very nature it’s highly seasonal and it’s becoming more and more difficult to sustain an agricultural labour force, especially amongst the youngest population. Current megatrends, such as automation, digitalisation and the transition towards a green economy, together with other pre-existing trends, are profoundly influencing the agricultural sector and further aggravating labour shortages. Projections of future skills needs highlight that automation, digitalisation and diversification towards sustainable farming will increase the demand for medium to high-level skills for both current occupations and emerging ones. The creation of jobs, the inclusion of young skilled workers and the sector’s potential economic progress is very relevant for GEOPA-COPA members. Moreover, better productivity and growth will help bolster Member States’ resilience to economic shocks. This project aims to investigate the extent of the labour and skills shortages across the EU, highlighting the main causes and challenges, and to provide innovative ideas to promote and create employment in the agriculture sector, and to increase its attractiveness as a viable career for younger people.