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  • What is AgCAREERSTART?
    AgCAREERSTART is a 10-12 month gap-year program kick-starting young Australians’ careers in agriculture. The program will connect farmers with participants who are looking to work on Australian farms. Participants will be provided with a job, training and development grants, and the opportunity to build their networks within the industry.
  • When does AgCAREERSTART begin?

    Applications are now closed for 2023. Applications for 2024 open on the 14th of August and close on the 15th of October 2023. Placements will commence between January and March 2024.

  • Who is running AgCAREERSTART?

    The National Farmers’ Federation and industry organisations on behalf of the Australian Government.

  • I have more questions about the program – who do I reach out to?

    Please fill out our contact form or email us at


  • Who can participate?

    The AgCAREERSTART program is open to anyone who is between the age of 17 to 25 and has the right to work in Australia.

  • When do applications close?

    Applications for 2024 intake open on the 14th of August 2023 and close on the 15th of October 2023.

  • What can I expect to get out of the program?
    On top of the skills, experience and mentoring you will receive while completing your paid gap-year on an Australian farm, you will also be provided with a training grant, access to FarmSafe’s basic safety training as well as many opportunities to build your network and funding to attend industry events such as the National Farmers’ Federation Conference, Innovation Generation and AgQuip.
  • How are farms selected for the program?

    All farms are required to undertake a suitability and safety screening to ensure a safe, positive, and rewarding experience.

  • What happens after the program?
    AgCAREERSTART is just the start of your career in agriculture. Towards the end of your gap-year our Training and Career Development Officer will get in touch with you and organise a 1-1 session where you can talk about your experience, what you have learnt and where you would like your career to go next. The gap-year program is designed as a pathway into agriculture and could lead to many exciting different opportunities in the agricultural industry.
  • Will I get to meet other participants?
    Yes! You will be connected with other participants in your area and be added to a national network of AgCAREERSTART participants.
  • What do I need to do to apply?
    • 800 word written statement or <5 min video which explains why you are interested in the AgCAREERSTART program, what you hope to get out of the program and anything that shows why you are a great candidate for the AgCAREERSTART program. Farmers will get to see your statement/video, so this is your chance to sell yourself!
    • Up-to-date resume – please include education, work experience, skills, correct contact information
    • You will need a professional referee who can complete a written reference form – this cannot be a relative (no step-mums, boyfriends, aunts etc). Examples of non-related references are school teacher, sports coach, employer
  • What does the application process look like?
    • Submit your application using our online system.
    • Your application and your reference information will be verified.
    • Your application is then matched to a suitable farming opportunity (based on industry and location preferences)
    • When a suitable farm match is made, you will be connected with the farmer for a compatibility meeting where you can discuss the role in more detail.
    • If the meeting is successful, the farmer will offer you a position on the farm and will issue a contract of employment.
    • If the meeting is unsuccessful for any reason, you will re-enter the matching process.
  • Do I need a Driver’s license?
    • A probationary driver’s license is STRONGLY recommended.
    • Please be aware that farms are geographically spread out and, in most cases, will not be near public transport or close to townships. This will mean that you will need a driver’s license and, in many cases, your own vehicle (some farms may offer use of a vehicle, but this is farm dependent).
    • A driver’s license will ensure that you can drive to nearby towns to purchase groceries, sport, community activities and local attractions.
  • Do I get paid?

    Yes, the AgCAREERSTART program is an on-farm working gap year, rates of pay will depend on the type of farm, the role, your experience but all pay rates will be in accordance with the appropriate Award.

  • Where will I be placed?
    • During the application process you will be asked whether you would like to relocate interstate, or whether you are happier staying closer to home.
    • When we are matching you with a farm, we take into consideration your location preference and industry preferences and try to match you to an appropriate farm.
  • What kinds of farm placements are there?

    We have a range of farming placements available all over Australia! Please visit the Info for Participants page for more ideas.

  • Do I get accommodation?

    This is farm dependent – many farmers will provide accommodation, however in some cases you may have to find your own accommodation. You can elect whether or not you are happy to find your own accommodation during the application process.

  • Do I get to pick the farm I work at?

    Upon application you will be asked about your industry preferences and every effort is made to match you with your chosen preferences. We have a range of farm opportunities available and if your first preference is unavailable, we ask you to be open-minded about other farms opportunities.

  • How do I know my application has been received?

    You will receive an email from AgCAREERSTART indicating we have received your application and it is being processed.

  • My circumstances have changed, I no longer wish to be a part of the AgCAREERSTART program
    We understand circumstances change. If you wish to withdraw your application, you can do so at any time by emailing
  • How can I ensure I have the best chance of getting into the AgCAREERSTART program?
    • Use the written statement/video to demonstrate that you are a great applicant.
    • If you have agricultural experience, make sure it is highlighted on your resume.
    • If you don’t have specific agricultural experience, show how your skills are transferable – for instance, if you have hospitality experience this might translate into dealing well with pressure and it might mean you have great communication skills.
    • Answer emails and phone calls in a timely manner. Understand that extended delays in communication may result in your application being withdrawn from the process.
  • Do I need prior agriculture experience?

    No, the AgCAREERSTART program is open to anyone with a passion for agriculture and a can do attitude! Farmers are looking forward to supporting training young people in agriculture.

  • I have pets, can I bring them on farm?

    Whilst we love our animals, any pets that you might wish to bring on farm must be approved by the farmer. Please note that bringing pets may limit your chance of placement at some farms.

  • Do I get to meet the farmer before moving to the farm?
    • All participants will get to have a compatibility meeting with the farmer they have been matched with before commencing on-farm. Where possible, we strongly encourage that this meeting be conducted in person.
    • This meeting will allow you to ask questions about the role, the accommodation, the rates of pay, start date, etc.
    • If this meeting is successful, the farmer will issue a contract of employment.
    • We encourage parents to be involved in this process.
  • What support do I get whilst on farm?
    • All of our farmers are thoroughly screened to ensure they are best practice employers.
    • Regular check in from the ACS team to ensure that participants are having an enjoyable experience.
  • Is AgCAREERSTART open to people of all abilities?
    Yes, please let us know if you have any specific needs so that we can appropriately match you with the right host farm.
  • What other benefits do I get by joining AgCAREERSTART?
    As well as a full time paid farm placement, you will also receive a training grant to upskill yourself and funding to attend industry events
  • What can I do with my training grant?
    You can use your training grant in a variety of ways, including to complete formal education or alternatively training in specific fields such as obtaining a ticket or license.
  • What if I already have experience in agriculture?

    Great! The AgCAREERSTART team has the expertise and networks to find you your next opportunity in the industry and location of your preference. In addition, you can use the Training and Engagement Bursary to further your professional skills and increase your industry networks.


  • What is involved?
    As a host-farmer you will provide paid, full time on-farm employment for a school leaver or young Australian under the age of 25 for a period of 10 – 12 months. This is a supported program, where the host farmer is asked to share their skills, knowledge and industry insights with the participant, while also allowing a flexible environment that enables the participant to pursue training opportunities and attend industry events.
  • What is expected of me as a farm-host?
    Farm-hosts are expected to provide a safe working environment (all farms are required to undertake a suitability and safety screening), encourage their employee to engage in training and other capacity building opportunities, and attend broader industry events and meetings. The program is designed to show young Australians what a rewarding career in agriculture can look like. Any mentoring, training, knowledge, and skills you can share will benefit not only your employee and your business but help our industry attract and retain new talent.
  • Who can participate?
    Any Australian farming business can apply if they have a willingness to train and support a young person on farm. We are looking for host farmers who can have a positive impact on the next generation of Australian agricultural workers.
  • What type of roles are suitable for AgCAREERSTART?
    We are looking for full time roles that offer positive and enriching experiences that enable participants to gain a broad understanding of farm life.
  • What training and support do the participants receive?
    Participants will complete FarmSafe Australia’s online safety induction, receive a grant to undertake training of
    their choice and funding to attend industry events.
    In addition, the AgCAREERSTART team will be with you and the participant every step of the way, offering training, career and wellbeing support.
  • Who employs the participant?
    The farmer is responsible for employing and paying their employee across the course of the program. All employment must be in accordance with the relevant industry award/legislation. The AgCAREERSTART team will require a signed contract of employment to be kept on file.
  • What incentives do farm-host business receive?
    AgCAREERSTART farm-hosts are eligible for a $2000 grant. This grant is contingent on you completing an on-farm safety induction program with the participant.
  • How can I sign up?

    Click here to get started

  • Can farm-hosts take more than one participant at the same time?

    Yes. If you have suitable facilities and can provide training and engagement for more than one participant, we welcome it.

  • Can participants stay longer than 10-12 months?

    The AgCAREERSTART program runs for 10-12 months. However, if you and your participant are happy to continue working together at the end of the program, we encourage you to keep them employed. We’d love to hear the success story but there’s no need to tell us if you keep working together at the end of the program.

  • What agricultural experience do the participants have?

    The aim of the program is to provide agricultural opportunities to passionate young Australians. Some of these participants might have a background in agriculture, however, many will come from other backgrounds and may not have farming experience. Farmers should expect to be connected with participants who have little-to-no real experience on working farm.

  • What does the application process look like?
    • Complete an online application.
    • AgCAREERSTART team get contact to complete a suitability screening.
    • AgCAREERSTART will then match your farm with a participant. This is based on the participants location and industry preferences.
    • You will be sent a copy of the participant’s application information – if they sound like a good fit, you can proceed to either in-person or online compatibility meeting.
    • If meeting is successful, you will offer a contract of employment to the participant.
  • What paperwork will I need to have available?
    • You will need to provide your participant with a detailed employment contract that states the relevant industry award/legislation they are employed under. AgCAREERSTART will require a signed copy of this contract to keep on file.
    • You will complete a Farmsafe On-farm Induction with your participant. Documents such as a safety checklist, policies, safe operating procedures and maps relevant to your farm should be accompanied with your Farmsafe On-farm Induction paperwork.
  • Do I need to provide accommodation?
    It would be ideal if you do have suitable on-farm accommodation available. We understand that this may not be the case. If no accommodation is available, we ask that you work with participants to find nearby accommodation in town or at a neighboring property that is affordable, clean, and comfortable.
  • Will my participant have a driver’s license?
    This will vary depending on the participant. AgCAREERSTART has highlighted that having a license is highly recommended and will be beneficial to their application.
  • Where will my participant come from?

    Participants apply from all around Australia. On their application, each participant states where they would like to be based in Australia – this means that your participant could come from another state – but don’t worry, they have declared that they would like to move and experience life in another area.

  • What support will I receive as a farmer?
    The AgCAREERSTART team will be in contact the whole way through – we will make sure you are supported and having a positive experience.
  • What does the suitability screening involve?
    We ask questions about your motivation for applying to the program, your on-farm safety practices, emergency management procedures and employment practices.
Question not answered?

Contact us today, or to find out more about the AgCAREERSTART program, join us on one of our live webinars.