Wine Industry Workforce Guide released

Grape pickers in Macedon Ranges

Access to labour is a long-term challenge for the South Australian wine industry and underpins its growth aspirations.

In response, the South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) has developed a Wine Industry Workforce Guide to assist wine industry businesses to more effectively and efficiently source labour.

The Guide will allow businesses to explore different labour sourcing measures and initiatives, including traditional recruitment, outsourcing, engaging visa holders and incentivised recruitment, and find what best works for them.

SAWIA Chief Executive Brian Smedley said member businesses – South Australian winemakers and grapegrowers – have reported labour shortages over the past few years and expect demand for staff will only increase.

“This is well evidenced both from direct feedback and survey results from wine industry businesses and from the plethora of State and Federal Government programs and initiatives aimed at addressing labour shortages and associated challenges,” Smedley said.

“There are many factors that have created this challenge that will impact the industry and the broader South Australian labour market in both the short and long term.

“In response, wine businesses need to consider the options they have available to them to find sufficient labour into the future.

“This new Wine Industry Workforce Guide will be a key tool as they consider their labour options.”

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Clare Scriven said the wine industry was vital to South Australia’s economy and needed a reliable workforce now and into the future.

“In 2020-21, South Australia’s wine industry generated $2.8 billion in revenue for our state, and the Government of South Australia wants to support the industry toward continued growth,” Scriven said.

“Having access to the right people to enable this growth remains a challenge, especially for regional areas where many wine businesses are based. Businesses face difficulties with sourcing labour today but also need access to a pipeline of talent for the future.

“Initiatives like the Wine Industry Workforce Guide will help wine industry businesses with effective labour sourcing, so they can get on with what they do best, which is make wine.”

The Wine Industry Workforce Guide is available for download here. SAWIA is running a free webinar on Wednesday 3 August at 10am to provide background on the Workforce Guide and key take outs from resource. Register here.


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