Industry battles skills shortage

Farleigh cane farmer Bill Benson has spent 60 years in the industry.
Farleigh cane farmer Bill Benson has spent 60 years in the industry. Peter Holt

WITH 60 years of experience in the sugar industry, Bill Benson says one of the most difficult challenges farmers face is finding young haul-out workers during the harvesting season.

"Every year it is a battle," Mr Benson said.

"Finding workers to do the carting is difficult... every year they train them up but then they normally leave."

Mr Benson said he has worked since he was 14 and it would be hard for him to eventually stop working.

Although he is prepared to keep working for as long as he has to, he admits he is a in a difficult financial position when it comes to retirement.

"I had a bit of super... but most of that got taken up during the Global Financial Crisis," he said.

"And it is also very difficult for farmers, or people who have assets, to get a decent pension these days."

Topics:  skilled workers sugar industry

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Circa's new performance is a Peepshow

SHOW: Peepshow will premiere on the Northern Rivers.

The new production will have a Northern Rivers world premiere

Be the first to see controversial animated children's film

FURRY FRIENDS: Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki), Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Benjamin, Bea (Rose Byrne), Peter Rabbit (James Corden) and Cottontail (Daisy Ridley) in Columbia Pictures' PETER RABBIT.

Advanced screening of Peter Rabbit in Lismore this weekend

Rosanna has designs on female taboo

Artist Rosanna Pimm uses 3500 porcelain tampons to created her large scale performance installation  Riots of Passage in The Quad  as part of The Lismore Women's Festival on International Women's Day. Laying down and de-constructing the mandala structure symbolises the impermanence of the menstrual cycle and an end to female inequality in the world.

Rosanna has designs on female taboo

Local Partners