Bright ag fu­tures for stu­dents in train­ing

Central Queensland News - - RURAL WEEKLY -

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.

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