Bright ag futures for students in training
SIXTY students started rural training at Longreach Pastoral College and Emerald Agricultural College this week, embarking on practical skills training programs to get a solid start in a career in agricultural and rural industries.
Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges (QATC) CEO Mark Tobin said the most subscribed courses this year were the Northern Beef Industries Program at Longreach, and Access Ag, the new senior school program at Emerald Agricultural College.
“As an organisation, QATC is looking forward to delivering a quality education experience and outcome to each and every one of these students,” Mr Tobin said.
“Students will be accessing the training facilities at both colleges to add value to their learning experience.”
Mr Tobin acknowledged while student numbers were down on previous years, significant influences such as ongoing drought conditions were making it difficult for farming families to send students to live away from home.
“Vocational education is now just one step in an education pathway that takes students from school through to the tertiary sector,” he said.
“Today’s aspiring agriculturalists have plenty of opportunities to hit their intended career target by picking and choosing from all educational offerings available, and QATC remains a valued option for agricultural skills training,” he said.
There are more than 1640 students enrolled at QATC in the 2017-18 financial year and the enrolments are expected to continue to flow in.
“More students will continue to enrol into new Vocational Education and Training in Schools programs in 2018, through partnerships we have with over 30 high schools to which we delivered training to 450 students in the last half of the 2017 school year,” Mr Tobin said.
“QATC also delivers training to existing farm owners, managers and workers, to undertake short courses like the Queensland Government funded Farm Business Management Skill Set for which we have already scheduled seven workshops throughout Queensland this year.
“We are also supporting 300 agricultural and meat industry trainees and apprentices to learn their trade and acquire their qualifications.
“Furthermore, there are students undertaking a Bachelor of Agriculture degree at CQUniversity, to whom QATC staff are lecturing and tutoring at Rockhampton, Emerald and Bundaberg,” he said.