The industry covers racing authority operation, racehorse and race dog breeding, ownership and training, and racetrack and race club operation. Workers in this industry are skilled in training, nutrition, and biomechanics to care for dogs or horses actively participating in racing, keeping them physically healthy and preventing injury. Main activities also include the operation of racing stables, kennels, courses or tracks, the administration of racing clubs, the provision of riding or harness driving services, and horse or greyhound training for racing.

Key updates

Rising industry interest
Despite disruptions to in-person events during the pandemic, increased interest and investment in horse racing has contributed to growing employment (up 1.6%) and establishment (up 3.9%) numbers within the sector. The number of internet vacancies have also recovered for all key occupations to pre-2020 levels.

Varying trading conditions in recent years
Whilst high-quality thoroughbred racehorses have fuelled increased domestic and international interest, standardbred and other horses are facing increased competition with lower demand. This may have contributed to the volatility observed in the cumulative hours worked for Livestock Farm Workers and Livestock Farmers in the Labour Force Survey.


Increasing representation of women
Women represented 47% of the workforce in the 2021 Census, which has increased 2% from 2016. Last year, 13 racecourses in Victoria received Government funding to upgrade their jockey rooms to cater for the growing number of female jockeys, which has increased by over 15% in 2021-22.

Rising interest in animal welfare
An increasing number of jobs in animal welfare has led to the release of the ACMSS00023 Animal Welfare Management Skill Set in 2021, with the trend predicted to continue.


Health and safety risks
Stables and horse/dog training facilities present distinctive health and safety risks, which may deter potential workers.

Unacknowledged employment
In its 2022 report, the Racing and Breeding Industry Reference Committee noted high levels of informal work within the sector, such as volunteers. The report also highlighted the increasing reliance of enterprises on informal training that has created a thinning VET market. Skills Insight is currently undertaking a research project to examine how barriers to formal training delivery may be addressed in the industry.


(2021 Census)


First Nations
(2021 Census)


2028 Projection
(JSA Projections)


(2021 Census)

Workforce Plan 2024

The Workforce Plan describes workforce challenges and skill opportunities identified by stakeholders across the industries we work with and outlines strategies to address them.

The 2024 Workforce Plan outlines four key Workforce Planning Priorities to guide the strategies and planning of our JSC work, retaining the strategic intent of the Initial Workforce Plan, with modifications to align with the Australia Government’s White Paper on Jobs and Opportunities.